New HTML5 SDK from QNX Bridges the Gap Between App Developers and Automakers

QNX Software
By Adam Zeis on 16 Oct 2012 09:16 am EDT

QNX Software Systems has announced today the availability of a new SDK for developers. The HTML5 SDK for the QNX Car will allow developers to create automotive applications using CSS3, HTML5 and JavaScript. Unitl now, there was really no easy way for developers to create apps for the automotive envrionment. With this SDK however, they can create apps using the SDK and even test them in the provided emulator before deploying them to the marketplace for automakers. Very cool news that opens all kind of doors for developers. Keep reading for the full press release. 

Mobile developers can now create automotive apps based on standard web technologies like CSS3, HTML5, and JavaScript

DETROIT, MICHIGAN--(Marketwire - Oct. 16, 2012) - SAE Convergence 2012 (booth 815) - Mobile app developers see car infotainment as a potentially lucrative new market, and automakers want to leverage the talents of the mobile community - but until now, the two sides have had little way of working together. Today, QNX Software Systems Limited announced a new solution designed to tear down these barriers and to enable new partnerships between the mobile and automotive worlds: the HTML5 SDK for the QNX CARTM 2 application platform.

The new HTML5 SDK is an extension of the open source BlackBerry® WebWorksTM framework, specially optimized for automotive environments. It allows developers to write, test, and package feature-rich automotive apps based on HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and other open standards. Just as important, it provides the missing glue between high-level apps and the car, through specialized APIs that provide access to automotive devices and hardware. These APIs include JavaScript classes that can access the HVAC, GPS, multimedia, and other services offered by the QNX CAR 2 application platform.

To accelerate development, the HTML5 SDK provides an emulator that lets developers quickly see how their apps would look and function in a car. Developers can use the emulator to perform JavaScript debugging, HTML DOM inspection, automated testing, and screen-resolution emulation, all from the convenience of a web browser. Simply put, mobile app developers can test their programs without access to an actual car or infotainment system. Better yet, they can make changes to their apps and view the results without having to recompile. They simply have to edit their source code and press refresh in the browser. The simulator is based on the open source BlackBerry® Ripple emulator, used by thousands of mobile developers.

QNX Software Systems also plans to create a virtual marketplace that will allow developers to make their QNX CAR 2 applications available to automakers. The marketplace will provide common ground for app developers and automakers to work together, and will allow automakers to preview the applications that best fit their brands and satisfy their customers. The marketplace is expected to go live when the HTML5 SDK is released.

"HTML5 has become a lingua franca, allowing app developers to target all the major mobile platforms. But until now, automakers have been unable to tap into this rich vein of apps, content, and developer talent. The HTML5 SDK for the QNX CAR 2 application platform changes all that," said Andy Gryc, automotive product marketing manager, QNX Software Systems. "Now, mobile developers and automakers can begin engaging with one another in a meaningful way, through a common platform and through the same open standards that have done so much to accelerate the rapid development and rich user experiences of mobile platforms."

QNX Software Systems has licensed its software technology for use in millions of in-vehicle systems worldwide, including digital instrument clusters, hands-free systems, multimedia head units, connectivity modules, and 3D navigation systems. The QNX CAR 2 application platform is a pre-integrated software stack designed to reduce the time and effort of creating highly sophisticated and personalizeable in-car infotainment systems.

For more information on QNX Software Systems' activities at SAE Convergence, visit


The QNX CAR 2 application platform is currently being evaluated by select automakers and tier one automotive suppliers for use in next-generation infotainment systems. QNX Software Systems plans to release the platform in December 2012, and plans to make the HTML5 SDK and virtual marketplace available to qualified developers in Q1 2013.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

New HTML5 SDK from QNX Bridges the Gap Between App Developers and Automakers


I still see no QNX-equipped vehicles on the market. GM & Ford are announcing lots of in-car systems using Android devices. Nothing from RIM :( This will certainly help a great deal! It's time to give vehicles some QNX love!

Check QNX's website they are in more vehicles than MS sync with Ford uses.

My Audi is QNX it just does not state it is QNX in the car.

Audi, Acura, GM Onstar, Infiniti, Toyota Entune, BMW Connected drive are all based on QNX. Ford is based on MS Mobile. I haven't heard about any Android based system yet

All part of the plan for RIM to take over the world. THIS is excellent news. It goes to show, when I am getting impatient with the little picture and want BlackBerry 10 *NOW*, that RIM is working on a much bigger picture as yet invisible to me. Go Team BlackBerry!

RIM + Blackberry + QNX + TAT + CERTICOM + DATAVIZ + JAYCUT + NEWBAY + More = BB10 on a phone, on my tablet and in my car! GO RIM GO!

I do think that its an excellent move to allow developers to join in the party for automotive industry. I can imagine how useful some location services app could be. Things like yelp, foursqaure, etc. Also of course for cars with built in front and rear cameras, i can only imagine what developer could do with these apis. Imagine a augmented reality turn by turn navigation on your built in infotainment system.

The bonus: car makers don't even need to build these apps themselves, allowing other people to do the work for them. Developers have a new platform. Consumer won't be restricted by only what the car manufacturer is willing to put into the system.

Or apps that are able to use information in OBD and then sync with an app that are available on phone as well. Then the users can just send it over to their garages/workshop. How great would that be? Or if the in built system doesn't have a data connection, they could make an app that will sync mileage, service information with a paired phone. Then the app on the phone will be able to schedule maintenance or whatsoever information.

so many possibilities.

The competition better watch out as RIM with QNX becomes the easiest way for all your devices to communicate with each other and everything else you come in contact with . With very few limitations.

Or, when the phone is paired with the built-in system, and that system is able to access OBD information. It can then make use of the phone's camera, along with the information from the OBD, to create an augmented reality app. Pop the hood, and then use your phone's camera to direct at the car/engine compartment, and then the app will show you the exact location of the part that is having issue.

Or, instead of installing a separate device to monitor oil pressure, water temp, battery volt, etc. Companies (like hondata, apexi, etc) can just hook it up directly to the built-in system. Then the built-in system could just display that info. Make an app that will pair the phone, and the phone can display even more information if the built-in system is unable to do so due to screen real estate.

Or, even a simple app for parking rates. Making use of the car's camera to create an augmented reality view of each location's parking rate.

Or when your phone is paired, and your friend sends you a location for you to go to, again, augmented reality, nearby parking locations, where has the cheapest rates, etc. Then when you leave the car, the phone becomes unpaired, it automatically set up a location pin on your phone. So vehicle can be easily found, especially in a huge carpark. If there are carpark availability information like some shopping malls do, the data could be integrated too.

so so so many possibilities.

Dude! If you haven't started writing apps yet you should start. You've listed a bunch of possibilities that I would find very useful.

What does this mean for BB10 C/C++/Cascades apps?

Will QNX Car 2 platform support other BB10 apps besides Webworks?

is there any info on this?

it's all about Machine to Machine or M2M. Get used to it, it's only the beginning of big things to come for QNX and RIM much to the chagrin of many anti BlackBerry "people"

I want to see an app that will let you schedule when your car turns on in the morning and warms up/defrosts the windows. If you could remote into the car with your blackberry and schedule this from the comfort of your bed the night before that would be awesome.

ie. have it turn on at 7am mon, wed, fri and have it turn on at 7:30am tues, thurs, sat.

Excellent news here!! This is what I am waiting for. I already have QNX in my 2012 Civic Si and looking forward to more in the future. RIM buying QNX was one of their best moves. Apple is no where near RIM in the sectoR and honestly I don't ever see them in automotive, or it'll take mAny many years to come.

Now get the developers developing the apps for QNX to BlackBerry World (app world), and stay tuned to see who's App Store generates the most sales as well as who the developers want to develop for.

Proud owner of a BlackBerry Playbook & Torch