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Ford to join Chrysler on QNX

by David Zatz on

Long ago, Chrysler chose QNX, a secure form of UNIX, for its telematics systems (“UConnect”). Fiat, meanwhile, continues to use Microsoft-based systems, but not in its Maseratis, which share Chrysler’s setup.

Chrysler’s QNX-based UConnect system

Ford, which had originally chosen to base its “Sync” system on a Microsoft operation system, has formally announced its long-rumored switch from Microsoft’s software to QNX, now owned by Blackberry.

Fiat’s system in ProMaster

The move comes after owners complained about constant reboots, the unavailability of climate controls, and inconsistent operation, and after several computer scientists easily and remotely hacked into Ford cars due to weaknesses in the software.

While Ford will develop its own software to run on top of the QNX operating system, the move is a sort of endorsement of Chrysler’s choice, and may lead Fiat to consider dropping Microsoft eventually — thought the Italian branch of FCA only recently renewed its contract with Microsoft.

FCA uses Microsoft-based systems in its smaller setups and QNX-based systems in its larger ones, so that the same vehicle might be available with both a small-screen, Fiat “UConnect” and a large-screen, Chrysler “UConnect” system.

The QNX-based version of Ford’s software will be dubbed “Sync 3.” Thanks, Ray. 

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