As part of its partnership with BlackBerry to develop self-driving cars and other car-related technologies, Ford has hired 400 BlackBerry employees to accelerate its efforts to develop new connected car technologies as well as new wireless products.
Nearly 300 of the former BlackBerry employees will be working at Ford’s new Research and Engineering Centre in Ottawa, Canada. The rest will be working at Ford’s facilities in the US. With BlackBerry employees joining Ford, the company has now double the number of employees working on development of car-related tech.
“Connectivity is the critical component of the future of mobility,” said Raj Nair, chief technical officer at Ford. “By more than doubling our connectivity talent and establishing a research centre, we can innovate faster and deliver more software and services to exceed our customer’s expectations.”
BlackBerry and Ford announced their partnership late last year, after the Canadian smartphone maker decided to stop development and manufacturing of smartphones itself. The partnership allows its software expertise to help Ford advance its in-car technologies such as the highly acclaimed SYNC system. In addition to working on the next-generation of Ford’s SYNC system, the collaboration between the two companies will help boost Ford’s self-driving car efforts. Ford only recently pumped in $1 billion (SGD 1.397 billion) into a new joint venture with Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based startup. The company hopes it will be able to roll out fully autonomous self-driving cars by 2021.