BlackBerry News And Update: BlackBerry Ties Up With Ford, Makes It First Time With An AutoMaker

By Xyla Joelle L. Fernandez

Nov 01, 2016 05:53 AM EDT

BlackBerry and the Ford Motor Company have a pretty well laid out history of working together and today, that relationship has been extended. BlackBerry has now announced that a new agreement with Ford Motor Company has been signed for the expanded use of BlackBerry's QNX and security software. Although the terms of the deal are confidential, BlackBerry notes it 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.

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 Officer at BlackBerry.

BlackBerry's QNX software powers more than 60 million vehicles, including the SYNC 3 Infotainment system in Ford's current models and this deal will see BlackBerry 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.

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, said Raj Nair, Executive Vice President Product Development and Chief Technical Officer at Ford Motor Company.

As for how this sort of agreement differs from others BlackBerry has made with Ford previously, it comes down to BlackBerry working directly with Ford rather than just offering up the parts and pieces of their platform to Tier 1 partners such as Delphi or LG. A much closer working relationship.

John Wall, the SVP and Head of BlackBerry QNX, expects similar announcements with other vendors to be made in the future but was not ready to comment any further on those. He has, however, wrote up a blog post on the Inside BlackBerry blog that is worth checking out as well. In that post he notes 'As companies like Ford realize the promise of the connected car, BlackBerry will be standing alongside them, putting the smart in the car.'

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