A little while ago, I had the privilege to be driven around in a Ford vehicle. I don’t mean being “chauffeured” as in someone else was driving me while I sat at the back playing on my phone. I mean I was driven around by a Ford car with no human driving !
Let’s talk safety
This is the trend. This is what our vehicles will look like in the near future. When you tell people that we will all be getting into vehicles that drive themselves, the first question they ask is around safety. How will the vehicle handle road conditions? How will the vehicle know when to go and stop? How will the vehicle know to protect the occupants ?
Bearing in mind that the entire vehicle operation will be handled essentially by a computer, naturally one of the questions regarding safety is How do you keep hackers out so they don’t take over the vehicle ?
This is a question and a concern that Ford has identified with when they turned to the most secure mobile software platform – Blackberry’s QNX.
Ford and Blackberry have signed an agreement to expand the use of BlackBerry’s QNX and security software. The deal signifies an acceleration in BlackBerry’s pivot from hardware to software in support of the automaker’s goal of providing connected vehicles and mobility to its customers.
Currently, BlackBerry’s QNX software powers more than 60 million vehicles, including the SYNC 3 Infotainment system in Ford’s current models and this agreement will enhance that offering.
“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,” said Raj Nair, Executive Vice President Product Development and Chief Technical Officer, Ford Motor Company. “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.”
John Chen, executive chairman and CEO at BlackBerry, said that “Ford is an industry leader and the opportunity to contribute our world-class technology to their products is a privilege. Ford’s expanded application of our software and services illustrates the diverse and broad value we can bring to market.”
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 juicy terms of the deal are confidential for obvious reasons.