BlackBerry isn’t wasting any time moving away from smartphones.
The company on Monday announced a new agreement with Ford to work on automotive software in a move it said will help it pivot from hardware to connected car technology.
“The future of the automobile is all about embedded intelligence,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in a statement. “I believe our expertise in secure embedded software makes us the preferred technology provider to put the smart in the car.”
According to BlackBerry, the deal will see it dedicate a team to work with Ford on expanding the use of its QNX Neutrino Operating System, Certicom security technology, QNX hypervisor, and QNX audio processing software for automotive applications. BlackBerry said the agreement will help develop secure mission-critical applications to power the connected car.
BlackBerry’s QNX software is currently in more than 60 million vehicles, the company said, including the SYNC 3 Infotainment system used in current Ford models.
“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,” Ford Executive Vice President of Product Development and CTO Raj Nair said. “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.”
The announcement comes just a few days after BlackBerry launched its latest Android device, the DTEK60. The phone, the second in BlackBerry’s DTEK series, was the first device released after BlackBerry announced plans in September to stop manufacturing its own handset hardware. Accordingly, BlackBerry said the DTEK60 was manufactured by TCL and loaded with BlackBerry’s Android software.
The device is currently on sale in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands for $499.