BlackBerry Partners with Qualcomm For Connected Car Software

BlackBerry is the latest company to enter the growing connected car market in Canada.

The Waterloo-based software company has announced a collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies to develop and produce automotive platforms for the next generation of connected vehicles.

The partnership will see some of Qualcomm Technologies’ hardware platforms optimized with BlackBerry’s QNX software for use in virtual cockpit controllers, telematics like eCall and Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything technology, control gateways, digital instrument clusters and infotainment systems.

The QNX software that will be utilized is a real-time operating system that was acquired by BlackBerry back in 2010. It has been used with Blackberry’s handheld devices in the past, and also integrated with Apple’s Carplay last year. Now it is being leveraged to help create connected car solutions.

“BlackBerry and Qualcomm Technologies have had a long-standing relationship for over a decade, collaborating on technologies that have revolutionized the way people live and work,” said Sandeep Chennakeshu, President of BlackBerry Technology Solutions. “Today’s announcement elevates our relationship as we aim to accelerate the delivery of the next generation platforms that connected vehicles will rely upon.”

On top of this announcement, BlackBerry and Qualcomm have agreed to optimize BlackBerry’s over-the-air software and Secure Credential Management service for use with some of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon modems.

“As innovation in the automotive industry accelerates it becomes necessary for industry leaders to work together to deliver leading-edge technology platforms that help to make vehicles safer, more connected, and increasingly autonomous,” said Patrick Little, SVP of Automotive at Qualcomm Technologies.

Connected vehicles is certainly a hot market right now, with Vancouver-based connected car software provider Mojio recently closing a $30 million Series B funding round and partnering with the big three telecom companies in Canada to roll out their network.

The software that BlackBerry and Qualcomm produce will look to bring Canada up to par when it comes to connected car solutions: right now only 4.9 per cent of Canadian cars sport built-in connectivity, while countries like the U.S. and the U.K have connectivity rates of 12 and 11 per cent respectively.