Ford, BlackBerry Announce Expanded Software Partnership

BlackBerry will establish a team dedicated, in part, to bolstering the incorporation of its QNX Neutrino operating system within Ford vehicles.

Mnet 93426 Blackberry Ford Ap Photo Large

Ford Motor Co. plans to expand its use of BlackBerry's software under an agreement with the Canadian telecommunications giant announced this week.

Under the agreement, BlackBerry will establish a team dedicated to bolstering the incorporation of its QNX Neutrino operating system within Ford vehicles, along with QNX hypervisor, QNX audio processing software and Certicom security technology.

Ford's Sync 3 entertainment system is already based on QNX, and the automaker earlier this year announced plans to triple its investment in new technologies. Terms of the latest agreement with BlackBerry were not disclosed.

"Growing our expertise, experience and use of the BlackBerry QNX embedded software platforms will help ensure we deliver the high-quality, highly secure experience that our customers expect," said Ford Chief Technical Officer Raj Nair.

BlackBerry led the smartphone market as recently as 2009, but as Apple, Samsung and other competitors eroded its market share, the company shifted toward software and business applications.

The company recently announced that it would stop making smartphone hardware entirely and outsource that production to partner companies.

"The future of the automobile is all about embedded intelligence," BlackBerry CEO John Chen said of the Ford agreement. "I believe our expertise in secure embedded software makes us the preferred technology provider to put the smart in the car."

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