By Segun Oniyide
Ford is ditching Microsoft and going with a unit of BlackBerry for the software underlying its car systems.
The next generation of the system, which allows people to control their smartphones and other devices by voice in the car, likely will be based on software from BlackBerry’s QNX automotive unit.We do not discuss details of our work with others or speculate on future products for competitive reasons.”
The move to QNX could save money over Ford’s costs for its Microsoft licensing agreement. But it will also add more
flexibility and speed for the next generation of Sync in the highly competitive in-car infotainment space.
QNX provides the base code for many different automakers the automakers themselves then build their infotainment on it to meet their own needs and design goals.
Sync, and the touch-screen and voice system upgrade called MyFord Touch, has run into complaints from consumers, including that it didn’t understand voice commands, was too complex, that the screen icons were too small, the view options too confusing, and more. That has led to a drop in Ford’s overall quality scores in various industry surveys.
While QNX may not be a household name, the company acquired by BlackBerry several years ago is a top-level auto supplier, with its software powering electronics systems for many major automakers.