Ford reportedly looking at BlackBerry QNX software for in car systems

QNX would be cheaper and improve flexibility in Ford's next-gen Sync in-car entertainment system, Bloomberg News reports.

DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford Motor Co. has reportedly picked a technology owned by ailing Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd. for its next-generation Sync system.

Bloomberg has reported that the automaker plans to swap its current Microsoft software for BlackBerry’s QNX, which was acquired by the Waterloo, Ont.,-based firm in 2010.

People briefed on the matter told the news service that QNX will be less expensive than licensing technology from Microsoft and improve the system’s speed and flexibility.

Bloomberg says more than seven million Ford vehicles on the road use Microsoft’s voice-activated software to make phone calls and play music, but there have been customer complaints about the technology.

Ford refused to respond directly to reports it will switch to QNX.

“Ford works with a variety of partners and suppliers to develop and continuously improve our in-car connectivity systems for customers,” company spokeswoman Susannah Wesley said in an email to The Canadian Press. “We do not discuss details of our work with others or speculate on future products for competitive reasons.”

Shares in BlackBerry soared more than 6% on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday to $10.81 with more than five million shares trading hands. The stock went as high as $11.18 earlier in the day.

©The Canadian Press