Drowning BlackBerry could be helping others to stay afloat. Apple has, according to reports, acquired key engineers from BlackBerry’s QNX team in Canada to assist in developing the operating system for its automated vehicle. The iPhone maker has set up a shop just few minutes away from the QNX offices, reports Bloomberg.
Apple hiring BlackBerry QNX engineers
According to Bloomberg, Apple has hired many engineers in Canada over the past year, and around two dozen came from QNX, a leading automotive software provider. A former QNX executive told Bloomberg that the Cupertino-based firm is going after its employees because of their experience in developing radical components of operating systems and power management.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg said that the engineers work at an Apple office in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata, which is about a five-minute walk from QNX. The list of notable hires from QNX include ex-CEO Dan Dodge, who spends a lot of time in Canada and California supervising the car operating system. Derrick Keefe, who worked as a senior engineer at QNX for over ten years, joined the iPhone maker as well.
Today more than 60 million cars on the road use QNX technology for their infotainment systems. Audi, BMW, Acura, Ford and several other automakers use QNX. For BlackBerry, this division is one of the last remaining bright spots after it lost its position in the smartphone market.
How is Apple’s Project Titan going?
Apple’s car project has been plagued with obstacles despite the new employees from BlackBerry. Bob Mansfield, a veteran Apple executive, was brought back from retirement to supervise the project. One source told Bloomberg that Mansfield has already given a deadline of next fall to the engineers to prove the self-driving technology before deciding on next steps.
As per reports, the tech giant has changed its aim to just developing the self-driving platform from making a self-driving car. Also it is believed thatself-driving software was just one of the several features planned to run on CarOS. The fate of the features relies on the overall strategic direction of Project Titan.
According to Bloomberg, the tech giant has created virtual reality systems to test its automated technology. The VR system enables the Cupertino firm to keep its vehicles off the road and secret. Now the team includes VR expert Doug Bowman who, according to the Financial Times, joined the iPhone maker in January.