BlackBerry signs auto tech deal with Jaguar Land Rover

This article has been updated to include additional content about the role of BlackBerry's QNX division in the new deal.

BlackBerry has landed another deal with a major automaker, furthering its development with Britain’s Jaguar Land Rover.

On Thursday morning, BlackBerry announced a multi-year agreement to develop technology including a new infotainment system for the next generation of Jaguar Land Rover vehicles.

BlackBerry will license its QNX and Certicom tech to JLR and assign a team of engineers to develop new electronic control unit modules – embedded systems that control a vehicle’s electrical functions – alongside the automaker.

Much of BlackBerry's automotive work takes place in its Kanata-based QNX division, although a spokesperson for the Waterloo-based firm says the latest deal involves incorporates technology from across the company.

“We’re are at a pivotal moment, where innovative automakers, such as Jaguar Land Rover, are realizing they need to take an active role in defining the software architecture for their vehicles,” said John Wall, head of BlackBerry QNX, in a statement.

John Wall
John Wall is the head of BlackBerry QNX

BlackBerry has worked with Jaguar Land Rover in the past, announcing earlier this year it had been testing its Jarvis cybersecurity platform in the automaker’s cars. It also brought a Jaguar XJ concept car to last year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Since last fall, BlackBerry has signed several high-profile partnerships with semiconductor firms such as Delphi, Qualcomm and Nvidia, as well as a deal with Chinese search engine giant Baidu.