Date
25 June 2017
Ford is setting up a new R&D facility for internet-connect vehicles, with the workforce to comprise many engineers from BlackBerry. Photo: Bloomberg
Ford is setting up a new R&D facility for internet-connect vehicles, with the workforce to comprise many engineers from BlackBerry. Photo: Bloomberg

Ford hires BlackBerry engineers for research on connected cars

Ford Motor Co. is hiring 400 engineers from BlackBerry’s mobility solutions unit to help develop internet-connected vehicles, the Wall Street Journal reports.

About 100 of the BlackBerry staff will come from the firm’s office in Florida and another 300 will join from its Canadian operations in Ontario, the paper said, citing company executives.

At an event with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ford announced Thursday that it will establish a new research and development center in Ottawa with an investment of US$375 million.

The hiring of BlackBerry engineers will double Ford’s mobile-connectivity team, helping the auto maker further build its computing expertise as it moves to new ventures that rely more on vehicle connectivity. 

Ford already has close ties with BlackBerry, as it announced in 2014 that it will use the smartphone maker’s QNX car software for its SYNC infotainment systems.

In October, the two firms said they will expand the use of QNX software within Ford’s fleet, including developing a dedicated operating system and program to control other software and related-security technology.

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