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Apple CarPlay ‘Powered By’ BlackBerry QNX Software

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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CarPlay operating system from Apple will run with BlackBerry QNX platform to provide in-car access to apps and services

Apple’s CarPlay in-car operating system will be partly powered by the QNX platform owned by struggling handset manufacturer BlackBerry, according to a report.

Rumours had suggested the two systems could not work together, but QNX has confirmed that the CarPlay interface will rest atop of its widely-used “infotainment platform”.

“Connectivity to smartphones and other mobile devices is a key strength of QNX Software Systems’ platform for car infotainment systems, and many automakers and tier one automotive suppliers use our platform to implement smartphone/head-unit integration in their vehicles,” said QNX spokesperson Paul Leroux told N4BB. “We have a long-standing partnership with Apple to ensure high-quality connectivity with their devices, and this partnership extends to support for Apple CarPlay.”

BlackBerry LogoInfotainment

The two companies had partnered in the past, with the QNX website listing Apple as a strategic partner in its automotive work. QNX is currently the leading in-car entertainment provider, so any partnership would effectively combine two of the biggest players in the market.

CarPlay was announced earlier this week at the Geneva International Motor Show, and will allow drivers to use popular apps and services such as Siri and iTunes whilst driving. The service will be available on all Lightning-enabled iPhones, and the company has already signed up most of the world’s major car manufacturers to include CarPlay in their upcoming vehicles.

QNX was acquired by BlackBerry for $200m in 2010, and its technology formed the basis for BlackBerry’s ill-fated PlayBook tablet and the most recent version of its smartphone software, BlackBerry 10. QNX technology is also reportedly used to control nuclear-power plants and unmanned aerial drones.

The revelation follows the news last month that Ford will be using QNX in its Sync factory-installed, integrated in-vehicle communications and entertainment system. The world’s fifth biggest car manufacturer will use QNX in place of Windows Embedded Automotive OS, amid suggestions that Ford has not been happy with some of the problems (such as poor voice recognition) with its current Sync system.

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