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BlackBerry Helps Ford Put Self-Driving Cars On the Road

Remember BlackBerry? I certainly do, mostly because I used to love their QWERTY keyboard-equipped phones. But when my BB device popped up a messaged according to which a particular messaging app would end BB OS support, I had to switch my phone.
BlackBerry and Ford 6 photos
Ford and BlackBerryFord autonomous vehicle prototypeFord autonomous vehicle prototypeFord autonomous vehicle prototypeFord autonomous vehicle prototype
It’s funny when you think about how the one-time smartphone leader lost its edge to Android and iOS because it lacked vision. Nowadays, BB will happily sell you things like the DTEK 50 and DTEK 60, which are rebranded Alcatel devices at heart, with pretty run-of-the-mill hardware and specs to boot.

Because BlackBerry’s phone division is merely a shadow of what it was a few years ago, the company decided to try something new. In this regard, the Canadian-based outfit looked toward the automotive world. Believe it or not, BlackBerry and Ford have joined forces to produce self-driving cars.

The place where Ford-BlackBerry autonomous vehicles will be tested is Ontario, the first Canadian province to allow for the testing of automated vehicles on public roads. Also, Ford and BlackBerry signed an agreement for the use of BlackBerry's QNX and security software in support of the Blue Oval’s goal of providing self-driving vehicles by the end of the decade.

Even though the terms of the deal are confidential, BB let it slip that Ford is interested in the QNX Neutrino Operating System, Certicom security technology, QNX hypervisor, and QNX audio processing, vital things for the self-driving vehicle of tomorrow. As the car gets closer to being a part of the Internet of Things, this deal suits the Blue Oval and BlackBerry alike.

"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," said John Chen, the chief executive officer at BlackBerry. "Ford is an industry leader and the opportunity to contribute our world-class technology to their products is a privilege.”


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