The rotting corpse of Blackberry Ltd. may provide the extra juice needed to get Apple’s car project rolling.
Apple has reportedly poached key engineers from BlackBerry’s QNX team in Canada to help develop the operating system for its self-driving car. And the iPhone-maker has set up shop just five-minutes away from the QNX offices.
[contextly_auto_sidebar] “Many of the engineers working in Canada were hired over the past year and about two dozen came from BlackBerry Ltd.’s QNX,” reports Bloomberg. “Apple targeted QNX employees because of their experience developing fundamental components of operating systems and power management.”
Despite the new blood from BlackBerry, Apple’s car project has been plagued with problems. Veteran Apple exec Bob Mansfield was brought back from retirement to oversee the project. The company has reportedly changed its goal from making a self-driving car to just developing the self-driving platform
Over 60 million vehicles on the road today currently use QNX technology for infotainment systems. Ford, Acura, BMW, Audi and other automakers use QNX. The division is seen as one of the last remaining bright spots for Blackberry after it squandered its lead in the smartphone market to the iPhone.
Apple’s list of notable hires from QNX includes former CEO Dan Dodge who spends a lot of time in California and Canada overseeing the car operating system. Derrick Keefe also joined Apple after working as a senior engineer at QNX for over ten years.
The report also reveals that Apple has created Virtual Reality systems to test its self-driving tech. This allows Apple to keep its cars off the road and remain secret.