This isn't the first partnership between the two companies. BlackBerry's QNX operating system currently powers Ford's latest infotainment system, Sync 3, among many others in the industry. BlackBerry announced that it will dedicate a team of engineers to work on the Ford project. The team will work to expand the reach of QNX as well as BlackBerry's Certicom security technology. Despite its falling phone market share, BlackBerry mobile devices have been some of the most secure available. This is particularly important as fears of car hacking continue to rise.
Ford and BlackBerry want to develop an intelligent and highly secure system that will power the cars of the future. Both companies see a future in connected car technology, and this is especially important for BlackBerry as its bread and butter mobile device user base continues to dwindle. BlackBerry is still in the phone business, but it recently announced it will get out of the handset business and focus on software. Autonomous cars will be the next mobile devices, essentially rolling computers with cellular radios, so the BlackBerry partnership makes plenty of sense for Ford.
Ford wants to have a fully autonomous ride-sharing fleet on the road by 2021 and have a consumer product ready by 2025. Partnering with BlackBerry seems to be a smart move for both companies, as it sets up BlackBerry to be a frontrunner in autonomous tech. Apple, which has recently abandoned its car project, has shifted its focus to software development for cars. As such, it has recently poached some Blackberry QNX team members. It seems like these companies realize the importance of QNX's experience and the security of BlackBerry software.