Ever since the launch of the iOS and Android mobile operating systems, it has been chic for tech writers to proclaim the Death of Blackberry. But in the immortal words of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Blackberry is “not dead yet’. In fact, the announcement last week that Ford will be using Blackberry’s QNX Software “in support of the automaker’s goal of providing connected vehicles and mobility to its customers” offers another data point as to why Blackberry will dominate car technology for years to come.
In 2010 when Research in Motion acquired QNX Software, there was no notion that this would end up being the company’s salvation. But in the end, success in technology is always about software and the QNX real-time operating system (RTOS) is a perfect fit for embedded systems. With the advent of connected vehicles and the Internet of Things (IoT) there are going to be billions of devices to embed QNX.
The QNX RTOS is already powering infotainment systems in Audis, Kias, BMWs, Mercedes-Benz and Fords and it also powers the well-regarded GM OnStar system. With the race to fully autonomous vehicles, the QNX combination of reliability, flexibility and security places Blackberry as the front runner to dominate the connected car revolution.
Time Magazine called QNX the “tech company that is to connected cars what Microsoft is to PCs.”
Back in March Time Magazine called QNX the “tech company that is to connected cars what Microsoft is to PCs.” And that installed software advantage creates a foundation for plugging added modules in cars that can control an automobile.
Ford has pledged to have an autonomous car in the market in five years. While short on specifics, the announcement last week stated, “As part of this agreement, BlackBerry 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 terms of the deal are confidential.”
The bet here is that Ford will most likely be building autonomous car technology on QNX Software. And if that is the case than the circle will be complete. Just as swiftly as the demise of Blackberry mobile phones, do not be surprised to see Blackberry rapidly rise to the top of the technology heap again and arrive to celebrate in a self-driving limousine powered by QNX Software.