BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s QNX Car Platform Gets Ford’s Smart Device Link


In the area of integrating smartphones and cars, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)’s QNX software systems have been in the light. The large automotive ecosystem along with flexible OS architecture gives Tier 1 suppliers and automakers the choices in connectivity for smartphones and other devices. As CES 2016 is starting very soon in Las Vegas, it was announced on Monday that the options for QNX customers have risen quite high with the availability of Smart Device Link (SDL) technology by Ford.

Since many of us are not aware about SDL, it’s the Ford AppLink’s open source version. Ford AppLink is software that facilitates Ford SYNC users to access all the smartphone apps with the help of dashboard controls and voice commands. Ford’s AppLink has been donated to the open source community in order to introduce a standard way for the smartphone users to interact with apps, regardless of which vehicle they drive or phone they use.

SDL has gained many industry advocates in no time, like Toyota, UI Evolution and not to forget, QNX. Many companies like Mazda, PSA, Subaru, and Honda are ready to evaluate it for use in next generation vehicles. At CES this year, Toyota has plans to exhibit its SDL integration.

Have you ever thought why SDL is gaining popularity? The reason is its flexibility and vendor- neutral standards in order to benefit automakers, drivers and developers. With the help of SDL:

  • Automakers not just deliver stable app experience across vehicles but it also leave the stone unturned in retaining the flexibility for each vehicle model or brand by customizing that experience.
  • Drivers can bring a lot of difference in their driving experience by using steering- wheel buttons, voice commands and other in-car controls in order to interact with apps. This way they can enjoy driving with eyes on the road and their firm hands on the wheel.
  • Developers have big roles behind this technology as they are the ones who can create such apps which can work across multiple automotive brands and multiple smart devices. This gets them a lot of incentives too.

The CEO of Livio, the Ford subsidiary maintaining the Smart Device Link open source project, Paul Elsila said,” QNX can play a very important role in the adoption of the auto industry standards with the help of its large market share. We are quite excited to build vendor- neutral technology with them so that the integration of smartphone apps can be simplified to a large extent in any vehicle.”