The agreement signifies an acceleration in BlackBerry’s pivot from hardware to software.
BlackBerry has signed an agreement with Ford to provide software for the automaker’s connected vehicles as the Canadian firm looks to new areas for growth after its exit from the handset business.
The agreement will see the expanded use of BlackBerry’s QNX and security software in Ford cars.
BlackBerry’s QNX software powers over 60 million vehicles, including the SYNC 3 Infotainment system in Ford’s existing models.
The companies did not disclose the terms of the agreement or details about where the new software will be used.
The deal will see BlackBerry dedicate a team to work with Ford on extending the use of its QNX Neutrino Operating System, Certicom security technology, QNX hypervisor and QNX audio processing software.
BlackBerry executive chairman and CEO John Chen said: “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.”
Ford Motor executive vice president of product development and chief technical officer Raj Nair 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.
“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.”
Ford is planning to deliver a fully autonomous vehicle made for the mass market by 2021, with the car specifically designed for ride sharing.
In order to achieve its goal, the company will be investing in or collaborating with several start-ups to improve the autonomous vehicle development.