BlackBerry agrees software deal with Ford for connected cars

BlackBerry agrees software deal with Ford for connected cars [Image: Sebastien-Coell via iStock]

BlackBerry has announced that it has signed an agreement with Ford Motor Company for the use of BlackBerry’s QNX and security software.

According to BlackBerry, the deal “signifies an acceleration in BlackBerry’s pivot from hardware to software in support of the automaker’s goal of providing connected vehicles and mobility to its customers”.

As part of the agreement, BlackBerry said it will dedicate a team to work with Ford on expanding the use of BlackBerry’s QNX Neutrino Operating System, Certicom security technology, QNX hypervisor and QNX audio processing software.

“The future of the automobile is all about embedded intelligence. I believe our expertise in secure embedded software makes us the preferred technology provider to put the smart in the car,” said John Chen, executive chairman and chief executive at BlackBerry.

“Ford is an industry leader and the opportunity to contribute our world-class technology to their products is a privilege. Ford’s expanded application of our software and services illustrates the diverse and broad value we can bring to market.”

Ford has said that it plans to have fleets of fully autonomous vehicles on the roads within five years.

BlackBerry went on to explain that “the combination of BlackBerry’s expertise in security and QNX’s mission-critical operating systems and software for automotive applications” has allowed it to offer the most secure, trusted and reliable platform that can power every aspect of the connected car.

BlackBerry’s QNX software powers more than 60 million vehicles, including the SYNC 3 Infotainment system in Ford’s current models.

Raj Nair, executive vice president of product development and chief technical officer at Ford Motor Company said: “With the success of our SYNC 3 system globally, which is based on the BlackBerry QNX operating system, we understand the importance of the connected car experience to our customers.”