Ottawa’s Tech Sector Takes A Hit

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Just when Ottawa was beginning to brand itself as an automotive tech centre, this happens to BlackBerry QNX:

Global automaker Toyota Motors is dropping BlackBerry QNX’s infotainment software from its best-selling Camry vehicles in a move that analysts say reveals a growing threat to the technology company’s growing automotive business.

BlackBerry QNX officials were quick to downplay the significance of this month’s lost contract, which comes at a time when Ottawa’s industry leaders are trying to brand the city as a burgeoning hub for autonomous vehicle technology that’s anchored by QNX.

BlackBerry QNX designs a variety of software systems for use in the car: telematics, information clusters, the beginnings of assisted and autonomous drive. Infotainment is just one of these systems, but it’s a significant and competitive space.

A spokesperson for the tech company said QNX was never the primary provider of Toyota’s infotainment platform and was instead a supplier to another contractor that worked for the automaker.

However, analysts say Toyota’s move illustrates the need for BlackBerry to either pivot and address a potential weakness, or double down on its established brand: the safety and security of its real-time automotive operating systems.

To read the full story in the Ottawa Business Journal, click here.

 


Video above: BlackBerry QNX technology in action.


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