1st of November 2016
Ford just released statement of a partnership with Blackberry subsidiary QNX, to see the use of QNX software expanded in Ford vehicles. QNX offers centralized car operating systems which include driver assistance and automation software services. The QNX Ford partnership will help the automaker to accelerate its chase to driverless.
Both Ford and QNX have been very vocal about their intention to develop autonomous cars. Ford announced its intention to deploy fully autonomous cars within five years and QNX said it is the most successful producer of car operating systems on the planet, now focussing on becoming #1 in ADAS. The QNX Ford partnership seemed almost unavoidable.
BlackBerry’s head of QNX John Wall says the new relationship with Ford will create a direct link between the two companies and shorten the turnaround time for new software developments. The actual terms of the agreement will dedicate a team from QNX to work with Ford on maximizing the use of the QNX Neutrino Operating System, Certicom security technology, QNX hypervisor and QNX audio processing software.
QNX serves as a middleware layer for in-car infotainment systems including Ford Sync 3, and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. ‘Neutrino’ covers infotainment, clusters and navigation, but also sensor fusion. According to QNX it can be built into any car model on the market and centralises driver support tasks like adaptive cruise control, surround view, drowsiness monitoring, blind spot exposure, pedestrian detection, etc.
A dedicated team of QNX engineers based in Ottawa and Waterloo will work with Ford to expand the carmaker’s use of the Neutrino industrial operating system, as well as an overarching program that can control other operating systems and related security technology. BlackBerry and Ford declined to say how QNX might be rolled out into new systems or discuss financial terms of the deal.
Important secondary takeaway: Ford is not the only carmaker using QNX software. The ex- and current partner list includes Google, Toshiba, NVidia, Qualcomm and Intel. But Ford can for sure be seen as the first big EOM that will integrate QNX.
News tags: Ford, QNX