The troubled phone maker is hoping to get its motor running again by signing a deal to work directly with Ford to expand the carmaker’s use of its QNX secure operating system.
The deal with Ford is the first BlackBerry has done directly with a major automaker, though it currently sells its technology to auto industry suppliers.
The company hopes to make its cash by expanding sales of software products, including to automakers and other manufacturers. This happens only after it lost its smartphone business to all things Googlish.
Panasonic Automotive currently uses QNX software in the Sync 3 infotainment console that it supplies to Ford.
BlackBerry is hoping the new deal will expand use of BlackBerry’s software in Ford vehicles as the two companies identify other systems where it might be used.
BlackBerry said the cunning plan was to form the basis of the entire vehicle all the way from autonomous drive through to infotainment.
Ford is ramping up its driverless vehicle efforts and plans to offer a fully automated vehicle for commercial ride-sharing in 2021, it announced in August.
QNX’s software is certified for use in autonomous driving and active safety systems.
No-one is saying how QNX might be rolled out into new systems or talking about money.
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 said.