BlackBerry QNX versus iOS and Android in automobiles

By Chris Umiastowski on 31 Dec 2013 02:01 pm EST

This week the world of mobile computing turned its attention to the automobile industry because of fresh headlines that Google has signed a deal with Audi to power its in-car entertainment and information systems.

This isn’t a new topic, obviously. Last October I had a conversation with a hard working Bay Street analyst who told me he’d been talking to plenty of car manufacturers and many of them were looking at Android, not QNX.  We’ve also seen Apple working on in-car iOS deals with a huge list of car makers.

So what about BlackBerry? Ever since the Waterloo smartphone maker bought QNX Systems we have all hoped BlackBerry would become a much stronger force in the automotive market.  As much as I’d like that to happen, I will be the first to admit we’ve seen a lot of talk, and not so much action.  Perhaps that action is behind the scenes, and takes years to develop since the design cycle of a car is much longer than that of a phone. Or perhaps QNX has been developing deals that go beyond the infotainment systems that we see, hear and touch.  I’ll return to this further down.  Just to cover off all bases, it’s also possible that QNX is simply not growing.  Perhaps John Chen’s drive for greater business transparency will reveal the answer in the coming quarters if revenues are actually reported for the QNX Embedded Systems business.

I’d like to dive a bit deeper into this topic.  Keep in mind I’m not a software expert by any means, and I’m only interpreting what I read and asking what I hope are smart questions.  

Apple has plans to enable cars to interact with iOS devices.  Does this actually mean that iOS has to be installed on the car?  That’s one possibility, but it doesn’t look like the only way to go. Apple seems to be focused on letting iOS users interact with their phones by way of the car audio and navigation system.  Want to tell your phone to lookup directions and AirPlay them to the car’s screen?  That sounds nice.  What about telling your phone (via your car) to play an album on your audio system?  Yeah,  that’s a no brainer.  

Ever since the Waterloo smartphone maker bought QNX Systems we have all hoped BlackBerry would become a much stronger force in the automotive market

None of these things seem to require a full version of iOS in the car.  What if companies who were already using QNX simply built an application to run on the embedded operating system to allow the car to interact with iOS?  And the same goes for Android.  We already know Android can run on top of QNX since it is happening today on every commercial BlackBerry 10 device out there.  If you are a car company do you really want to take a chance at swapping out the proven reliability of QNX and running Android, risking the possibility that the entire car’s infotainment system might crash?  Maybe it would be smarter to connect to Android devices through an app (or process) running over the existing QNX system, such that if a crash occurs you’d just lose Android connectivity for a moment while the process rebooted itself?

In short, I suspect there is a difference between the real time operating system that runs at the heart of an infotainment system (i.e. QNX) and the higher level software (i.e. processes and apps) that humans interface with.  It doesn’t seem obvious to me that the implementation of iOS and Android functionality in cars means removing QNX.  I’d love to hear thoughts from others who know this topic in more detail.  I’m really just scratching the surface here.

I think next week we’ll start to get a better idea of what’s really happening.  BlackBerry has promised to show off new QNX features in cars, and it’s widely expected that Google and Audi will show off what they’re up to.  

Other than what I’ve already talked about above, my suspicion is that QNX is focused on cloud services and cellular functionality in cars. They’re already strong in infotainment systems, and they need to make it easy for their customers to support iOS and Android connectivity.  But they also need to leverage the BlackBerry NOC to let cars, car companies and customers communicate with each other.  For example, when your car needs service it should be able to automatically tell your dealer, schedule an appointment and send out a reminder. The car should be able to subscribe to services from streaming music to Netflix in the back seat to crowd-sourced traffic data that doesn’t necessarily rely on your smartphone’s limited battery power.  I’m sure more creative minds can come up with better ideas than me.

What kinds of cloud services do you think BlackBerry will announce next week at CES in Las Vegas?

Topics: QNX Editorial

Reader comments

BlackBerry QNX versus iOS and Android in automobiles


Whatever it is ,it better be good .Apple and Google hot on their heels,let's hope they can retain their position in that market and have learned from lessons past.

With IOS,you will only be allowed to buy premium gasoline or your car will not Apple knows best lol.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

QNX is waaaaaay ahead of the rest.

They've been doing this stuff for years. GM's OnStar is QNX based for example.

As we've seen with BB10, QNX can support subordinate operating systems (e.g. Android) and given Audi currently use QNX it doesn't seem crazy to think they may just run Google services on top of QNX.

If they're replacing QNX with Android that's a whole other question. Google certainly have the resources to create an in car OS, but they've a lot of ground to make up.

And no doubt the QNX business hasn't been sitting around doing nothing the past few years.

BlackBerry have to open source their operating systems (QNX and BB10) with the exception of the main kernel if they want to have a place in any market - consumer, auto or enterprise. Without broad developer support they're doomed and they're changing developer rules so often I for one have stopped supporting the platform. Get the application layer code onto the net and maybe they'll stand a chance of competing.

Google have shown that it's possible to manage the "kinda" open source Android (however badly) and Android (or iOS for that matter) isn't close to being as good as BB10.

I don't get the "Go Open Source" mantra here? Developers don't give a shit if the system is open or closed, they care about having a good development environment (which BB10 has provided substantially better than BB7-), having a good customer base (that is growing) and having a good means to monetize and distribute their apps (eg: App World). Having good statistics for the back end is also a requirements. BB10 has all of these things already except for the large and growing install base. If BB can bring that same support to Automotive Infotainment (straight-up BB10 on Cars, possibly with a better UI) they should have a winner. QNX_CAR2 leverages much of the same architecture as BB10 but the UI is all based on HTML5, not Cascades (at least last CES that was the case). They demo'd video conferencing over BBM from their car, so there must be support for Cascades in the system somewhere; not sure why they woudl pursue HTML5 as the UI unless it is easier for Devs to use...

The BB10 development environment may be better than BB7, but app integration up till now isn't even close. It is getting there with more recent OS releases, but even now you'd be hard pressed to add a menu item to any BlackBerry app - something that was easy in BB7.

And the open source isn't just about developers (though the rise of Android would suggest it's a significant point) - it's about manufacturers. If smaller device manufacturers could use BB10 with free licensing and perhaps a small support fee this would encourage wider adoption. BlackBerry has to find a way to retain its legendary security features while opening up its ecosystem.

I believe QNX uses QT so I doubt using Cascades is a problem. You're probably right that HTML5 is just easier for the automotive manufacturers to hire devs.

My Uncle Thomas just got a fantastic green Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible only from working part time off a laptop. find out this here
★------------- -c­a­s­h­4­6­.­c­o­m­

+1. Hopefully the new changes in BlackBerry will have a positive outcome.

#iChooseBlackBerry10 shall not be forgotten.

BlackBerry should work hard at their QNX systems in cars. It would be a giant leap in the company to produce revenue. From the video demos of it running, it looks really good. I can see it being an attractive offer to car manufacturers.


Sounds like QNX in cars syncing with a phone or similar device could be the exact definition of "mobile computing ".

Posted from my CB10 via the power of "Q"

Moving from slick demo videos to a commercial product has been RIM/BBRYs issue for years now.

They do give the competition great ideas though so the R&D hasn't been TOTALLY pissed away.

Happy 2014.

Posted via CB10

QNX can run Android apps as announced a while back, so I suspect the same as what was mentioned in the article. QNX can co-exist as one portion of the larger system.

^ Think the major thing to consider is QNX is at the core. It's not used primarily as a front end system as of yet, although we've seen major work towards this in the BB10 launch with that Bentley Car2 platform - utilizing GUI from TAT team within BB.

Moreover, QNX director of strategic alliances, Linda Campbell, specifically stated that BlackBerry and QNX teams will merge their unique benefits to work towards the future - BlackBerry telephony and NOC and QNX embedded systems expertise.
Secondary Source, blogged:
primary source BB World 2013 Seminar BAB04 – Evolution of Mobile and M2M Computing

Of Specific information, which should really be researched by Chris when mentioning specifically about this article as it's not focused on investment is QNX is the core, while Apple's & now Android's partnerships with Audi and other car manufacturers are working to implement connections to smartphone features, or the MMI GUI (Graphical User Interface) which includes infotainment, navigation and phone or media control interfaces - NOT direct control.

Yeah I skim read from the half way mark Doh!!

Will re read fully all the way through. Thanks for the correction.

PS: was there a need for a +1? Lol.

Posted via CB10

Dude I got +1 the other day and then -1 all at the same time, we're all really just a bunch of bozo's trying to increase technology so that it will end up wiping humans off the earth faster anyway!

Happy New Years!

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

His last paragraph leads me to believe he didn't read his own last paragraph.

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

Chris, you mention in the article "What if companies who were already using QNX simply built an application to run on the embedded operating system to allow the car to interact with iOS?" This is exactly what iOS7 does with a 2014 Audi running QNX. QNX has built-in support for iOS7 to do basically "screen sharing" or a slightly more dumbed-down AirPlay as you mentioned. Surprisingly, there isn't something like, oh I don't know, BLACKBERRY BRIDGE SUPPORT built in to QNX to do the same with BB7/10 devices. Shock, Awe, BlackBerry doesn't have a cohesive strategy even though part of their BU knows what their competition is doing 12+ months before it is launched...

Google + Audi announcement will likely be nothing more than Google Maps and other app integration via Android Player on QNX. I don't see the auto guys (in Germany or US at least - someone like BYD in China maybe) going full Android / Linux for core of infotainment, for all the same reasons people have mentioned here.

And yes, I know I'm responding to Bla1ze not Chris, this was just near the top :D

I imagine the challenge will be vs branding. Ie "Ford now with Google" or "Toyota with Apple " etc. While qnx is not known to the masses.

Posted via CB10

In reality, does QNX need to be known by the masses? At its core, it's an embedded system OS so it can run and interact with just about any kind of overhead platform. So long as the people who design and source embedded systems know the name and hold it in high regard it doesn't matter whether Joe on the street knows what it is or not.

It would help for more heft or credibility to be attributed to BlackBerry. Mobile security and fault tolerant embedded systems. "For when it really matters." trademark pending :-)

I think it does matter. Just like the MDM business, if you don't assert yourself that you in fact have three times more customers than the three main MDM competitors combined, you risk being portraited as much less credible as a MDM powerhouse in the industry.

BlackBerry should do what Intel did with their 'Intel Inside' branding, and insists on branding theirs as 'Powered by QNX', so we should see 'Ford/Audi/etc. with Android/iDevice support, Powered by QNX'.

From a marketing point of view, I think it's very important. You want all your potential customers to relate the product or service they need with the product or service you offer. That becomes difficult if your marketing or branding isn't very clear.

In this case it's also important because it helps create differentiation between the QNX product and those that will be offered by Google and Apple. What name do we want associated with secure transmission and application of in car infotainment and telematry? QNX or just "the other one"?

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10! 

Brand association is important, but more for connectivity with customer devices. Supply contracts are not usually announced until years after they are signed, unless the auto maker sees some benefit in an earlier announcement.

One thing worth keeping in mind is that strengths in mobile devices do not directly translate to the auto industry, where products that are 10+ years old are expected to be supported. In this case, the perception of BlackBerry as a slow mover may be an advantage. However, most average people don't associate QNX with BlackBerry anyhow. In summary, stay tuned and know that unless BlackBerry gets permission to disclose contracts, we won't hear about them until the products launch, which could be a couple of years from now.

Posted via Z30

It is definitly going to be a great topic to follow going forward. The interesting this that you pointed out is why (if they are) would a car company swap the behind the scenes QNX OS with Android or iOS. We have seen the Google Maps running in the Audi for years. Why is there a need to change now? Are they changing or are they just forging a stronger partnership/bond to take it ALL to the next level?

Well as for Apple, talk to the myriad of iOS7 users that cannot hook into their car audio system via blue tooth since upgrading.

Posted via CB10

I think it will be very disappointing. Many manufacturers have indicated Google or ios platforms. BlackBerry is again the laggard. This company seems to excel at squandering opportunity. Google can announce integration with Google glass- augmented reality on huds on the windshield. Apple can offer a very full and refined entertainment experience integrated across their platforms- iPad, iPhone - siri enabled navigation. BlackBerry must focus on leapfrog technologies - something so innovative it creates interest. Likely they will offer remote starter, door opener and keyless ignition using NFC and blue tooth. Yea- whatever.

Posted via CB10

Not such the laggard as you might think. QNX runs in the background for the most part. So having the QNX system supporting a generic OS is very possible.
People want to see something familiar on their dashes, be it Android, iOS, gawd forbid Windows so having an OS with known icons on the dash is the big draw.(for me, I would buy a QNX based indash system for my fact, give me a PlayBook with BB10 and some vehicle controls and I'll be happy!!)
In fact, QNX has been powering some Apple filesystems for sometime.
This behind the scenes activity doesn't help BBRY's current public image in any way, but I feel better knowing that QNX and thus BBRY is playing a pretty big role none the less.

Automotive -
Strategic -

So let Google have their day, BBRY will still be keeping their simple OS stable and up and running in our cars. I'm ok with that.

Much was in place prior to BlackBerry's acquisition. What has happened post acquisition by BlackBerry. This goes to my point of squandered opportunities.

Posted via CB10

"Google can announce integration with Google glass- augmented reality on huds on the windshield"

QNX already does HUD. Google and the rest are well behind QNX. Let's hope QNX have been busy patenting their ideas before they get stolen like other innovations from BlackBerry.

If Google does actually get a good system running with audi. And it is viable comparable to qnx wouldn't most car manufactures go for the Google experience then? I'm assuming there would be no license fee. So that would be something automakers would consider.

Posted via CB10

"I'm assuming there would be no license fee"

You assume wrong. Android may not have a license fee for you, but it won't be free forever.

And if manufactures want support for the software they'll have to pay.

Free software is a Trojan horse. Once you have it installed, all the additional costs will suddenly appear like Greeks in the night.

This is what kills me about BlackBerry, they have all these pieces of the puzzle all scattered around with no cohesive vision, well at least not yet. I hope John sees this and puts the pieces together.

Posted via CB10

From the information we have, it sounds like QNX (just like BB) is behind the ball. How sad, I really wan't to see them kick some A$$ in the market -but unfortunately they just can't seem to get a break. :(

QNX, like the rest of BlackBerry has to stop being humble. Scream off the rooftops. The latest Google announcement is a clue that they are not pushing QNX out just working on top of QNX. The clue is that Google says they're working with Audi. "Google Expected to Partner With Audi to Put Android in New Cars" ( . Guess what, as part of CES, QNX is also showcasing Audi - "The latest in-car experience. Hear how OEMs address disparate lifecycles with CE providers by utilizing easily replaceable hardware such as Audi's compute-module to provide an up-to-date in-car experience - . I guarantee you Audi isn't developing/implementing two competing systems in parallel. They will work together, serving different purposes.

Yea, but google is not just android. They have the driverless cars and the investment in Uber so...pretty vested in the future of autos already.

Going from QNX (Real Time) to say a full version of iOS or Android would be IMO an automotive manufacturers nightmare. Say something goes wrong, the last thing you need is your entire system to crash. This would never happen to QNX.
Both Apple and Google have deep pockets, and marketing spin. Hopefully Chen can knock some sense into these auto makers heads.

EXACTLY :D QNX has ALL the power without CRASHING...Mr. Chen will get it right! He knows this already :D

My z10 and now my z30 has never crashed. My PlayBook browser will time to time. Android phones crash all the time. I cannot speak for ios.

Posted via CB10

UT is part of QNX, and its very rare for a BB10 to all out crash. I've seen apps crash, but does not take out the entire system.
For the most part, all three other competing platforms crash all the time, at a high rate. WP8, iOS and Android crash 10x more than any BBRY device.

Except for that release of 10.1 that had Z10's rebooting while charging every so often. Not a "crash" per se, but if you observe your phone rebooting, and you didn't initiate it... wonder what to call it then?

Ultimately if your car is going to be connected to the Internet all the time, OEM's will have to focus on security as much as reliability. As the world moves to M2M computing - QNX technology is exactly what you need..John Chen and his leadership will be key here...but John Chen was talking about mobile computing before many. Do people think he got on the 2 of the most successful companies boards without a reason? Disney and Wells Fargo. His stock doesn't vest for 3 years....he has a big carrot to deliver.

Posted via CB10


Thank you, it is worth reading.

(For others: If you need the whole URL, the assemble-it-yourself version is:


Alternatively, use a search engine with the terms: fortune, cnn, little known company - it worked for me.)

Posted via CB10

Whatever the underlying system it must be able to work with the majority of products out in the market and must be ultra reliable and work with systems of other car suppliers. IOS doesn't play with Android and Vice Versa. Google is focused on ads not getting into the embedded space which requires supporting the unique needs of those customers which is not core to where Goggle makes their money. Apple and Google will build on top not become embedded providers.

Posted via CB10

If you look deeper into QNX, you will see that the work with Apple and Google. Google maps and search is already embedded into their software stack. Apple is integrated through them. Microsoft as well. If you are interested in this topic, look up their website and see how far along they really are. Might be surprised by the advancements they've made.

Posted via CB10 from my Z30

It should get easier to promote QNX once BlackBerry is seen as a profitable company again. As much as I hate to admit it the Foxconn deal was brilliant, and if BlackBerry can convince enough Enterprise clients to return to the old model and due away with BYOD enough people might just begin adopting BlackBerry all over again. The big difference thus time us BB10 is capable of rolling with the punches.

Sent from my BlackBerry Z30

Apple is the master manipulators, that is why they are good. Good on them for that, means that yes, they have great marketing. QNX Over iOS any day.

Team BlackBerry

That is all Apple has is marketing spin. People have yet to realize how old and inefficient iOS is, but the marketing makes it look nice and colourful.
It would obviously make sense where QNX remains the heart and soul of the system with others tagging on, but obviously not needed.

Collaboration is the name of the game here! QNX being the heart with layered software applications on top!

This is good for all vendors!

Posted with my gorgeous Z30

This is where BlackBerry start to bring it. They can own the new segment ( and already do). The big names recognize the opportunity but it is a large leap in terms of OS requirements. Google buy BB! Nooooooooooo........

Posted via CB10

Microsoft has been working with Ford for years with Sync.... personally, I can't stand the interface but the problem with QNX (which powers my Mercedes and my wife's Enclave) is that it is very specific to the manufacturer so not at all recognizable as such... those two systems have radically different UI's each with their own faults. For most people, going to something like their phones would be a huge upgrade. I'm not holding my breath QNX will be ultimately successful with cars unless they can pull off something featurewise that Android/iOS/Microsoft can't... with all the money Google is spending on self driving cars, I wouldn't bet against them (although the idea of google knowing where I'm driving, how fast, on what roads, etc to gives me the willies).

+1. People keep saying QNX can run Android apps, but while technically that might be true, it's irrelevant in practice. Having the runtimes and libraries to run apps doesn't mean those apps will be usable. A. The hardware is different, so unless there are some pretty robust APIs supporting Android-on-QNX, things like app controls won't translate to cars. B. As mapsonburt mentioned, the interfaces are completely different between cars (and most suck).

Even if QNX does "sit underneath" some sort of Android VM, who cares: it will be irrelevant from a user and industry mindshare perspective. Are Microsoft fans all giddy over the fact that Ford Sync runs on top of Windows Embedded? No. The harsh reality is that BlackBerry AND Microsoft missed the boat here. MS really has no excuse since they had some nice momentum with Sync, but managed to let it go nowhere--just like they did with mobile.

What people consistently overlook when it comes to BlackBerry and BB 10 is that it's all about utility to the end user. And in today's mobile world, apps and SERVICES drive that utility. It's not just about streaming entertainment and turn-by-turn navigation; it's about connecting cars with the other devices and services in your life. A car running Android has the potential to integrate not just with Google Maps, obviously, but also with Google Now. This means the car can learn your routine and adjust settings accordingly. For example, it could know when you typically leave work and if you live somewhere cold, could start the car 10 minutes before you typically leave to warm it up. At the same time, it could set the audio to your favorite talk radio station.

That's just a trivial example, though, but one that highlights the real gap between BlackBerry and, to a lesser extent, Microsoft, and their competitors. While BBRY and MSFT are worried about getting the popular apps on their respective platforms, Google and Apple are enhancing their services to provide more utility and value to their customers. MSFT obviously has a lot more ammo in this arms race and has some compelling services and offerings that it can tap and exploit in new creative ways. But while I am a BBRY fan and would love to see BBRY be relevant here, I'm going to echo mapsonburt: I wouldn't hold my breath. Hopefully Chen can turn things around whether or not that means competing in this space.

QNX powered BB10 is brilliant. Its interface is smooth and flows quite nice. It's enjoyable to look at. BlackBerry needs to get BB10 out into people's hands. They need to aggressively work with the automotive industry to show off how awesome QNX-BB10 is.
No other interface looks and feels better than QNX-BB10. No Other…

I agree that BB10 does a lot of things well, but not *exponentially* better than the competition. Right now, the underlying platform and UI have become somewhat commoditized. Unless the UI offers a massively improved user experience or is tied to some killer feature, it's not enough. Just look at Windows Phone: it's a fresh take on mobile UIs, but the platform has struggled. It's gaining speed, though, due in large part to Nokia's differentiating cameras. So for Nokia, the camera--not the WP interface--has become a "killer feature" drawing users in from other platforms despite the lack of some key apps.

"(although the idea of google knowing where I'm driving, how fast, on what roads, etc to gives me the willies)."

And who on earth would want such a spying service? This is complete nonsense, and people need to speak out against this.

Millions. People VOLUNTARILY provide way more information and details about themselves through Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, etc., than Google Now could ever know (at least right now).

I agree that it's a little scary, but I find myself being drawn more and more to services like Google's because of the utility they provide. Do I necessarily want my photos plastered all over the internet? No. But, having the photos on my phone automatically backed up to Google Drive is kind of nice...the utility/convenience provided outweighs the privacy concern, especially since access can be controlled/restricted. And it sure beats plugging the device into a computer, opening syncing software like Link, and copying media over, which then should be backed up anyway.

I think the pendulum has swung a little too far to the side of openness (vs. privacy) and that we'll start to see it swing back a little over the next few years. People will see that while services like Facebook have made them much more social, there is a loss of--for lack of a better word--intimacy with some of this online engagement. It's great that we can connect with people more easily regardless of distance, but just as we have tiers of relationships in our personal lives, these social media sites will need to better reflect that and allow people even more granular control over what is shared when and with whom. Also, I think we'll see growing legal activity around the proliferation of personal information and how it is used, particularly when it comes to things like employment and hiring decisions.

You do know that you can automatically backup your photos to via your BB10 phone right? I'm all for utility etc for the end user, but if it comes at the expense of my privacy - no thanks. I for one don't like to use any Google services.

Hi! Happy New Year!

Have you guys not seen the new 2015 Mercedes S-Coupe? Guess what system its going to be running? Thats right! Who cares if IOS and Android is gonna be in a toyota or

I gonna have it in my hands on june 21st 2014 =)

Posted via CB10

The QNX-based Audi Multi Media Interface showcases QNX graphics technology on top of the solid QNX Neutrino RTOS. The MMI system connects every advanced system in the Audi A8L, Q5, and A6 vehicles, allowing drivers to control everything from DVD based navigation, through Bluetooth communications, to CD audio and satellite radio.

BlackBerry success is directly proportional to how many Crackberry podcast they deliver.

BBM Channel: The Group Ride C00055B7C

I believe Mozilla and BlackBerry already share a partnership, why not two companies do the same thing as long as they are not competing for the same thing

Posted via CB10

QNX is a partner of Apple, among several more partners.
Seems they are working together to get both iPhones working with QNX?!?

What I think would be best is, like you suggest, a QNX core and I'd let an Android or Microsoft runtime deal with all the entertainment for BlackBerry, iOS and Android. It seems silly but these people won't develop and update on other systems from a point of pride more than anything, and a system based on iOS is just impractical. Android is the closest thing to an open, secure and reliable Linux distro that we can get, which I think would be the easiest short term solution.

I do believe though that in-car integration with mobile devices will become a focus in both car manufacturers and consumers, so I wouldn't be surprised if they all run on their own proprietary systems with a partnered company developing entertainment software and services.

Car manufacturers tend not to work together on any competing features so I don't see a unified system for software or services, even in the distant future, and nor would I want to!

Posted via CB10

I don't want Scroogle integration in my car. Gives me the creeps. Google everything now, or what..?

I don't want my digital life, my mobile digital life and now my car hooked up to a Google server 24/7.

iDrones and Droids. Happy to be a BumbleBee.

Anyone remember the Windows analogy from years ago, if cars were like computers..., sudden full stop at a hundred kph (bluescreen), etc. ?

I value my life more that the entertainment value of a sooperdooper in-car infotainment system thay might do exactly that.
The entertainment unit has to be sealed off and run in a separate memory space / kernel from anything that interacts with or controls any driving function, especially with things like drive-by-wire coming up.

It's old news, but anyone remember that lady cruising at 220kph on a German Autobahn, and the brake-by-wire system failed in her Merc... aaaarghhhh....

My name is Prem, I'm using BBM ... from my QuZe10 ...whatarhyme...

This author is clueless. BlackBerry is going to get slaughtered by ios and android in the automobile market. There's absolutely nothing they can't do that QNX can. And when it comes to maps, the main feature of car infotainment, nobody does it better than Google maps.

Posted via CB10

Au contraire, Jack.  Clueless = comments that provide pure opinion without any intelligent discussion to back up the opinion.  Clueless as to how to actually have a productive discussion in a forum. We run into this kind of crap all the time :)

True, which begs the question of why even bother responding to such comments. There are plenty of intelligent, insightful comments on this article that are far more worthy of your attention and responses. :)

QNX already powers Google maps and iOS in the car, so you are obviously the one that doesn't know what you're talking about. iOS and Google might well end up dominating the auto infotainment user interface, but that doesn't necessarily mean that qnx is crushed. That's what I think this conversation is about, without the stupid fan boy crap we get all over the device threads.

Wow... you do realize Apple, Google etc are listed PARTNERS for QNX right? You also should realize that its already present in 60% of the cars available today.

BlackBerry Z30 | | BBM Channel C0006E212

You know so little of the author. Show a little respect, and read a little more of Chris,s comments before you make such comments

Posted via CB10

Good luck with that "Alajack". Phones v automobiles are a different standard of OS and mission critical. QNX owns the current market and are fully integrated and open... It's game on. In the business and as the sector grows there is a good chance Google buy BlackBerry ( not a fan of the concept but sh#t happens).

Posted via CB10

Chris thanks for bringing this topic up. I'm currently an Audi owner, BBRY shareholder, and z10 user. I am also hoping we'll be able to see some transparency and segregation of the new business units to really see where qnx is at. I really don't want to see Google / Android try to replace qnx in the dashboard, but it sounds like that's the approach they will be taking as part of this Audi deal. The iOS in the car strategy is a different approach - see link below.

Audi going with Android is a complete joke. Android is viewed as a low end, insecure OS, where as QNX has respect all around the world as being the best. This will be a big mistake for Audi IMO.

Did we not see a Qnx based Bentley last year?, which is a sister company of Audi. Hope it doesn't mean Google is going to spread to other VW group companies.

Posted via CB10

Naw. There is big difference between selling several hundred Bentleys and many hundred thousand Audi's and millions of VW's.

Competition is zeroing in on all BB! While Waterloo engages in their multi-year soap opera, iOS, Google, and the Good Technologies of the world are chipping away on all fronts. No room for sloppiness, its now or never BB.

I have said this a few times in the forums: it doesn't make sense for car manufacturers, or infotainment systems (pioneer, etc) to have google or apple or BlackBerry make the UI. Otherwise there is little to differentiate your unit from others. Also, you are possibly narrowing your customer base if you are limiting yourself to only Apple, Google, or BlackBerry Customers.

This is what I believe that QNX is avoiding. By support of QT, HTML5, and Android, they are making their automobiles more cross platform. I would suspect that the arrangement with Google has more to so with content.

Between LTE connectivity, audio streaming, video from YouTube and other places, Google music, etc. Real time traffic updating, there is lots of opportunity for content providers.

I think that QNX is trying to remain as agnostic as possible to allow their clients to choose what content is right for them (and their clients).

Just my thoughts...

Posted via CB10

I'm sure there will be A LOT of pressure from the NSA to get Apple or Google into your car which will also get the NSA into your car. Then there will be the Google ad banner rolling across your screen while you drive...nice. Can't wait for that feature to come to my car.

Let's hook up our digital lifes, mobile digital lifes and now now even our cars to the spyDroid duopoly.

In the long run, hope there will be enough separation between drive control functions and the infotainment side. Don't want a dodgy script error in Google Adsense take down the brake assist! Only half kidding.

"Windows" in your car, anyone?

My name is Prem, I'm using BBM ... from my QuZe10 ...whatarhyme...

QNX as some have pointed out is an RTOS (real-time operating system), it is running on satellites and nuclear power plants. If someone is trying to suggest that satellite can run on iOS or Android, well good luck with that. I personally would advise not to buy any car NOT running on RTOS. What is running on the top of RTOS (QNX or other) it doesn't matter, of course it makes more sense to run entertainment and connectivity native rather than ported, but that is more important for BlackBerry rather than the user. Here blackberry will have to complete on user experience and iReligion and as of now it is losing the battle.

Posted via CB10

You have teenagers stabbing there parents for not buying them a new iPhone for goodness sakes. This is complete nonsense, aPpLe has most ibots under its marketing control. Feed them BS and they will buy.

This topic concerns me. I'm picturing a future where I go to the dealership and ask to see a Jeep. The salesman rushes me towards a Toyota saying, "You don't want a Jeep with QNX, they're going out of business. Take a look at this Toyota with Android!" Simply stated, buying a device has become enough of a hassle due to partnership contracts. I can't imagine Google or Apple not putting their claws deep into the auto industry too. That or having to purchase the Ford Pinto II because it's the only one that works with my BB.

Onstar is powered by QNX. It sends information to your preferred dealer and when you are getting close to maintenance you get an email from the dealer for service. You can also lock your car, check your tire pressure, and lock on unlock your car from the ONSTAR app.
QNX is also supposed to be in the next S-Class. If Mercedes is putting in their top of the line model, I would think that's a step in the right direction considering the appear to be using in house software for their current vehicles.

Posted via CB10

Car can not run on Android or iPhone as they are, they would have to rebuild the kernel from scratch. The difference is that RTOS is configured for critical systems (like car electronics, brakes, ignition, power steering) with double drivers, one running and one on standby, if the running driver crush, it switches to the standby within nanosecond without rebooting. Android or iPhone can not do that.

Posted via CB10

@Krazykula. Can you imagine yourself driving on the freeway and suddenly you see the blue screen of death, no brakes, power steering, engine shutdown and if you crush not even airbags would deploy. Can you see law suits against Microsoft?

Posted via CB10

Keep it QNX please. Forcing apple and android on people and expecting them to play fair and compatible 100% with other things is suicide to automobiles. At least QNXS neutral and looking out for the best interest of the consumer and safety.

Posted Via my second Z10

You can have the powered by QNX label.

I want my new Porsche dash to say BlackBerry.

...just sayin' ; p

Posted via CB10

Here is a great opportunity for BB.
If you have QNX in your car then you get a couple of FREE Z10 or other OS10 phones to interact with it.

There was an article in the G&M about upcoming deals between various auto manufacturers and Google/Apple. FWIW, I think BlackBerry has lost out to both. As much as I'd like to see Android apps run on top of QNX, I don't think this is what the auto manufacturers are going to end up doing: I think they'll run Android directly.

BMW infotainment has to be one of the best most integrated QNX based systems you can buy today. Internet, google search, send to car nav, 3d mapping, remote lock/unlock, location mapping and HVAC control, then iPod/ipho e screen mirroring, streaming audio, Internet music steaming, the list goes on.

QNX is there now, iOS and Android are playing catch up in the automotive space.

Posted via CB10

I'd rather walk than drive an Android car! Same with iOS. The thought is scary beyond words!

Imagine this: Put your key in the ignition and your car asks you to connect to iTunes before you take your wife to the hospital while she's in labor. You connect to iTunes and then need to do a software update before you can start the car! :D

I like the idea of integrated connectivity with mobile devices but making a car an Android or iOS device is a step too far!

Posted via CB10

Not sure if this is on topic but my z10 is not fully compatible with my touchscreen vw audio system. I can get it to play via bluetooth but cannot control it, only through the phone

Posted via CB10

Just a note of interest, QNX in automotive is less than 30% of QNXs business. They are in the auto industry due to their proven performance and reliability in the machine automation market. Which would you trust more in your car, an OS that runs nuclear facilities and parts of the ISS. Or one that that runs phones and tablets?

Another point of interest: Apple is an embedded QNX partner. You don't honestly think Apple came up with their new UNIX based mobile platform on there own, do you? They know QNX, very well. They modeled parts (maybe most) of QNX to create their OS.

So, what does this mean? Apple could pull off an automotive infotainment OS. They could also easily provide an integration path to allow connection of iOS to a QNX based system.

Posted via CB10

I know nothing in this area. I fear that again the big guys will out do the small guy again. Aside from this, I can not see how BlackBerry interest in prosumer mobile relates to infotainment in cars. I have always had a large respect for qnx. But after several years I am one to believe that for BlackBerry it has been a strategic mistake so far. Hopefully I'm proved wrong in the future. This is a tough market. Those without vision depend on good fortune only.

Posted via CB10

I though audi was always a customer of qnx, so does this mean that they are no longer using qnx for there infotainment system? because they are still noted as a customer on the qnx website

Posted via CB10

Starting to think that this topic is in fact beyond the discussion capabilities of the type of people who visit mobile phone forums! We're talking industrial scale production of underlying automotive technology. There's little that's consumer-facing about that particular world. The level of debate on this site can be sketchy at best. With * this* topic, we here are even more poorly informed than about cell phones. I think most of us might be better off going to read a technical manual than hoping to learn anything from Crackberry about QNX.

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

Well, blackberry, QNX, rim..whatever you wanna call them...they have better start creating results. Bold9930, playbook and and an ongoing incomplete os 10 for the z10 / q10 is not cutting it. They need to get focused and get that flashy name thing going called ecosystem. I mean what the hell... Apple to come back into existence with a thing called an ipod years back and evolve it into a cell phone and crush blackberry. Now blackberry has an edge with car industry and looks like they might f.. that up too. Everyone that us pro blackberry has to complain if the companies actions and demand results or simply just go android and let them go down as a palm eaten and wasted at HP.

Posted from a Blackberry Z10 version10.2.1.176 on Verizon 4G network

I think car manufacturers are taking a big risk by tying themselves to a particular mobile OS. People used to buy cars based on performance and other "car" features. Now they buy cars based on fuel economy and how it integrates with their phone.

We know how easily steered and confused consumers can be. Hearing Audi partnering with Google's Android and Honda with Apple's iOS can lead customers to believe that the car might not work properly with the device they own.

Does either car manufacturer want to risk losing sales to the other because a customer owns a phone running a competing brand's operating system?

I think that a comprehensive article explaining how QNX works as a business would probably best be presented in a book rather than in something like a blog post. There is just too much going on to summarise it into a few paragraphs.

This article is interesting news but I suspect that it is just a single pixel out of a very large and colourful picture.

Happy New Year everyone, I wish Mr Chen and all those a BlackBerry all the best for 2014, it is certainly going to be a challenging year!

Posted via CB10


I see the future of mobile electronics in cars as three separate platforms. QNX, unlike Apple & Google, can be involved at each level, and may be, but the approach and opportunity differ for each.

First,there is the baseline powertrain/safety systems work. The electronic driveline integration is going to be driven by the OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer - the car company) for the next decade. That is, the powertrain/safety systems will be differentiators for the manufacturers. The OEMs NEED to be in complete conceptual control. While the actual electronic system work will be done by others (e.g. QNX) these "others" will depend on keeping a low public profile to keep their contracts. GREAT intellectual property lawyers are a prerequisite in this business.

The second platform is vehicle service / real time recording / operator integration. The intent of this platform is to provide in-and-out-of-vehicle communications. This includes things like the automated service notifications,black-box recording, vehicle software updates, and, eventually, vehicle-to-vehicle machine communication. The key is that the vehicle owner would be minimally aware of these services.

This second level can go much further. This is the realm of metreage (mileage) taxation, wherein the operator is taxed based on distance driven, and automated tollways. Insurance companies seek vehicle performance information as an aid to determining insurance rates. This is Big Brother stuff. From the QNX point of view, although initially massively profitable - every vehicle will have this equipment - this is going to quickly morph into a commodity product.

The second platform can meld a little into the third layer, the infotainment platform. OnStar is an example of this sort of cross-over application.

The third platform will be the operator interface with the vehicular environment. Infotainment is part of it. Anticipatory functionality - "The traffic is slow on your usual route this morning, Mr. Jones. Shall I plan an alternate route?" GPS, for a current example - is part of it. Personal device integration is part of it.

Here QNX can be key. As with many other situations, installed base is everything. People are being overwhelmed with choice and information. The purpose (and iOS/Android threat) of the phone integration is to homogenise the operators' experience. The idea is that the operator/vehicle interface (more than a GUI) is familiar, unthreatening, and similar to something already known.

If QNX can develop the third level interfaces in three or four flavours (BlackBerry, Apple, Android, & Windows, perhaps) that can be selected, so that the driver will be instantly familiar with the controls, it will have a winner. If, as you suggest, QNX can leverage BES10 / NOC, even better. Nevertheless, the interface will have to have the necessary OEM theme!

The other way is to minimise the device integration to a superficial layer. For example, to allow the passengers to play their latest variation of Candy Crush on the back seat video system and BBM their scores to friends. QNX would maintain control of the important underlying systems and potentially monetise the communications.

From there the individual services blossom almost without limit.

My BlackBerry is a personal tool. In a vehicle, why would I accept the limitations of my portable device? ALL of the functions from my BlackBerry (or your device) should be uploaded to the vehicle infotainment system OR downloaded from the cloud when I approach or enter the vehicle. The vehicle systems - large screens, loud speakers, HUDs, touch screens or pointing devices - should become the defaults while I am in the car.

Concerned about security? Go off grid with a satellite link. Having huge power reserves removes all device limitations.

Do I want my vehicle to be a rolling office? No, nor do I want a mobile gaming room. But, that's me. The potential is there and some will want it.

Here is an opportunity for QNX. The OEMs do not want to be involved with this detail. In the main, they see themselves as HARDWARE vehicle suppliers. It's what they know, it's what they're optimised for.

Finally, don't let the relatively lengthy model development times fool anyone. Although it takes four to five years to bring new OEM product to market in my business (automotive mechanical systems), the important decisions for suppliers are made early in the process. For example, it is much too late to make a significant change to a 2017 vehicle and sourcing decisions are being made into the next decade now.

Posted via CB10

Thanks for your well-informed and intelligent comments. Such contributions are somewhat rare on this website, unfortunately.

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

This explains a lot in plain English for those of us who are not in the industry. We'll said, thanks.

Posted via CB10

Really informative post and extremely helpful to me in my understanding of the subject matter. Thank you for using plain English, and thank you for a post that was a pleasure to read.

Further to your last point about development times, there is nothing preventing a carco from putting software system v11 in cars until April, and then v12 till June, and v13 till Sept. etc. In some regards, the model-year thing is pretty artificial. My 2014 Nissan/Honda/Hyundai/Chevy may be more or less capable than yours.

I agree. A lot of talk, very little action. They better wow the industry in 2014 or iOS/Android will own it.

Posted via CB10 on Z30STA100-5/

What I do know is that Apple has denied Nissan the ability to utilize any features that access certain parts of iOS such as text messaging. Other platforms allow Nissan cars to read text messages aloud...not Apple. a few other features are blocked too.

Posted via CB10

What do you expect from a company, that uses proprietary connectors instead of open or widely used standards, thereby limiting the usefulness of their devices?

USB, NFC, HDMI, Miracast / Wifi Direct, native Flash anyone?

Zzzzwiped from a Zedevice....

It looks like Agero sold that game to Sirius this year.

Posted via CB10

I just want a car thats up to date with technology. Think about it, cram every sensor and ultra high spec tablet you can make into the dash. at 1000$ price tag for such a device would more then enough to get it done. I wouldnt complain for one second on the price of my 40,000$ truck.

My 2012 tacoma feels ancient compared to my 2012 smart phone. When I buy my next vehicle in say 2015, will it finally be caught up to my long destroyed 2012 smart phone?

I was surprised by the integration available in my 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. My son's 335 BMW is even more connected. Are these QNX systems or not? Not sure, but I think they have QNX at their core. I think the capabilities are already there. Some carcos just won't put in the extra $1000, or perhaps they wouldn't in 2012, but will in 2014. Things are moving incredibly quickly.

I think automobile manufacturers s are making their decisions a based on which mobile operating systems mobile consumers are more likely to to use

Posted via CB10

It's all about perception. Right now good consumer perception is only with Android and ios. Car manufacturers will want to plug ios and android and not qnx. QNX will have be part of something in the background. It will not be able to compete in in car entertainment or apps. John Chen better figure out where he wants qnx to be and he better figure it out soon.

Posted via CB10

One of the things that IOS and Android world choose to ignore is that BB software or QNX for that matter is often at the heart of the system. It is designed to control. You load and run IOS and Android apps on BlackBerry but the same cannot be said of the other systems. BES has the ability to control IOS and Android devices but the same cannot be said of the other systems. In fact it appears to me that BlackBerry is slowly taking over control of mobile computing. As for the so called taking over of infotainment, that is a subservient system because the real system that matters is the one that is at the heart of running the vehicle which I think QNX is.

Posted via CB10

Great point, makes sense, so blackberry becomes the CPU, which is capable of running any of the various driver software. If BlackBerry is positioning themselves to glue the various platforms together with a baseline system that every industry could plug into, then the vision they have had all along deserves praise, at some point.

Posted via CB10

I know QNX is always innovating their platform to make it better. That is why they have been around for so long.

We will see what CES brings to the table.

Posted via CB10

This is really starting to become demoralizing. As a lifelong BlackBerry user it seems I'm hearing negative news about the once powerful smartphone maker at every turn. It seems like BB will need a small miracle to turn things around.

Posted via CB10

They need to sell themselves into the Tesla cars. That'd be awsome (and the Teslas do need a better onboard system - their's is too slow and laggy for a premium car).

By the way, don't forget that there are more than just Android, iOS and QNX out there for car onboard systems - there's also Meego (not the Harmattan variant) which is really nice.

Do u think BlackBerry will b able to mark its presence again..??. I just went to mobile store to enquire abt BlackBerry z30 n they I was shocked to know tht they were not aware of BlackBerry z30 n they also mentioned tht they have bicoted BlackBerry phones n they only provide on orders.. I remember once I went to purchase BlackBerry torch n they said ' sir dont think too much its a status symbol ' hmm I m feeling bad.. I love BlackBerry n I have seen it rising n now its fall too..its hard time going on..

Posted via CB10

Chris, why not just ask some QNX insider what's up? I get the impression most car companies want to keep their options open and are not prepared to identify themselves with just one system like Ford has done with Microsoft. Is Ford's MS promotion good, bad or indifferent? In any case, QNX is already embedded in many vehicles, and obviously their deal with the car companies is that they will NOT brag about the QNX thing. Just like they don't brag about their bumpers being made by some third party, unless it is in their interest to do so.

Timely article - just bought a new 5 series. QNX is awesome! Makes me doubly frustrated at the half baked elements of B10.

Posted via CB10

But, I understand that you could use QNX as the core kernel and then run Android apps and connect to iOS devices via an app... but, runtime and emulators and all that sounds kinda, well, hacked together. My Z30 with latest OS leak runs Android apps, but not nearly as easily and flawlessly as my S4.

What advantage for end users is QNX providing to justify itself? I mean, Android might be free and stable enough that we rarely see crashes. The application layer on QNX or Android or iOS or Windows NT is going to cause more crashes than the kernel, anyway.

QNX talked distributed computing and all sorts of vague advantages for BB10... but, at this point, it's hard to see what direct benefit end users have received from the decision to build BB10 on QNX as opposed to Android. There are certainly benefits for BlackBerry in not being dependent on Android, but for device users, it isn't clear. I don't think the car companies will go for that... not in the long run.

Posted via CB10

The same story since years: BlackBerry/QNX had have an advantage in some sections of technology, talked a lot of it in a distinguished way and had done nothing to keep this advantage alive and in the sum they bargain away market shares....again, again and again and again....

  If you are a car company do you really want to take a chance at swapping out the proven reliability of QNX and running Android, risking the possibility that the entire car’s infotainment system might crash? 

Mindless and irresponsibly statements like these led to current state of Blackberry. Learn to treat your competitors products with respect especially when you command a tiny fraction of the marketshare.

Posted via CB10 would be a BIG mistake for any car company to intertwine itself with one specific OS company such as Apple simply because these companies are too volatile. Apple may seem hot today, but there is no guarantee that it will hold itself in an unforgiving market. Eventually Apple will fall, once consumers wake up, and when this happens, no one will want anything to do with Apple products or services, and when this happens all car companies that invested in the on-board infotainment system based on that specific company, it will ultimately kill car sales. The smart thing to do would be to allow the specific car company to allow the branded OS into the car integrated system, but with the option to easily change it over to the next popular OS or company that catches the consumers attention. This flexibility will keep the car company safe and adaptable to the fast changes in the consumer "what I like now" market.

Of course car makers are leading towards android......there are a lot a android phones being bought I think once or if blackberry can make a comeback then the attitudes will change but I don't think the smartest people in the room at blackberry don't realize exactly what they have in qnx

Posted via CB10

I would not touch a car running on android lol. Just imagine all that malware and viruses from playmarket in your car. I think the will be running google services on top of something else. For example QNX. I hope they do!

Posted via CB10

Wouldn't it be great if we discovered that QNX runs Android apps better than Android itself? I've been doing some browsing around at different sites announcing this relationship. I for one think that we are in for a treat at CES.

QNX is the dominant S/W running car control systems. This means that the engines, braking systems, pollution control systems, safety systems run on QNX. There is absolutely no way that you want your brakes to be controlled by a Unix type operating system. QNX provides for the ability to integrate and control

Posted via CB10

Is QNX even profitable? I scan the entire earnings report and see nothing for revenue or profit from this division. Yet the company likes to show off shiny cars to prove they are leading the way. Proponents tout that QNX is the road forward but it is 30 years old and acquired for only 200 million!

How does QNX contribute financially?

i'm sure seeing a QNX tab would have given an idea on presenting a QNX car system. not much of a difference here, except integrating the modules with that of the car. Car electronics have gone top notch and not so difficult adding a central system to ease out control to users. Which should be easy with QNX since they've been developed for that. Dont forget QNX was actually meant for rockets and space craft. How hard can it be to streamline that to a car or automobile

Or perhaps the for sale that BlackBerry put up, who owns QNX, has scared off the QNX customers too?!?! BlackBerry has shot itself in the foot so many times. It really is sad how the company has basically just sat back and let Rome burn around them and only seem to be wondering what is going on.

Whatever it is... blackberry QNX is the best out there! I have personally tested it! It is snappy, responsive and fast! Just like what ios are capable of.. I will support blackberry forever! Please continue to produce premium devices such as the Z30! It is the best smartphone I have ever had in my life! Better than ios that always update and causes lag issue in older devices and of course obviously better than those laggy android os... blackberry os 10 is the future of mobile platform!

Posted via CB10

Last I heard, car makers wanted to get rid of proprietary systems and go with Linux, so I think we'll see lots of smartphone OS to be supported via various connectors. It will be an even playing field.

what I would like to see is some sort of system that you could buy for a reasonable price to retrofit older cars. obviously without all the bells and whistles, but maybe some of the basics (pandora, stream music from phone, bluetooth, etc.) and capable of reading codes you car may throw (O2 sensor, etc.) If you could do that and keep it withing couple of hundred bucks, might be a big seller.

All I know is that I can't use bluetooth controls with Spotify when my Z30 is paired to my car - and this really sucks!