Volkswagen has announced that it will be taking over BlackBerry’s European research and development centre in Bochum, along with 200 staff. Canada-based BB said the German facility oversaw hardware, software and mechanical development, as well as certain testing, certification and quality management responsibilities, without elaborating further.
Blackberry, which aims to get out of the red by its 2016 financial year, acquired QNX in 2010. That company’s software is used by companies such as GM, BMW, Chrysler and VW Group itself in car infotainment systems. Most of the vehicle connectivity development work has been centralised at the QNX Software Systems division in Ottawa, Canada.
The newly-founded Volkswagen Infotainment GmbH will see the Wolfsburg giant further expand its capabilities in vehicle connectivity. With the objective of interlinking vehicles and the surrounding world, the field has seen rapid growth in recent years.
The exchange of info between vehicle and mobile devices is already taking place today, but VW says that in the near future we’ll see things like communication between the car and the driver’s home or office, petrol stations, parking spaces and road infrastructure. The path will ultimately lead to car-to-car communication, making it possible for prompt info of any incidents or obstructions being shared around.
“Connectivity will be a key feature of the car of the future. Many customers are expecting connected vehicles of a new dimension in terms of convenience and road safety. Around the globe, our customers’ aspirations will change rapidly, leading to shortened cycles of innovation for systems and functions. In order to be able to meet these challenges it is necessary for us to broaden and expand our options through additional know-how,” explained Dr Heinz-Jakob Neusser, board member of the VW brand.