As Apple moves forward with its Project Titan, more information comes out about who is involved. The company reportedly hired a former executive of BlackBerry’s QNX division to assist with the self-driving technologies for the Apple Car and/or other platforms.
Dan Dodge founded QNX and was the company’s CEO until he recently stepped down this past September, likely to forward plans of going to work for Apple. QNX is a software company that BlackBerry acquired several years ago that has a primary focus on vehicle operating systems, in-car communications, and driver’s assistance systems.
Dodge will reportedly help with the “brains” of the Apple Car project and the operating system. The QNX operating system powered BlackBerry’s PlayBook tablet and the BlackBerry 10 operating system. Apple’s plan is to create a system that can work as an add-on with other existing vehicles, so that there is potential to partner, or provide Apple services over a myriad of platforms.
This is not to say that Apple isn’t still planning to build its own car. Although many recent reports have pushed the project back a year, others are still banking on 2020 as a target. With the recent appointment of Bob Mansfield, new Project Titan boss, along with Cook’s recent hints, and now Dodge’s hire, it seems that something is bound to happen at this point. Apple could potentially be working to speed up the process.
Added to this, Apple will be opening a R & D facility near the QNX headquarters in Ottawa, Canada. The town, Kanata, offers a wealth of automotive talent that Apple will be looking to tap into as developments move forward.
Apparently, Mansfield has re-directed the project’s focus more towards the autonomous technology as well as the prospects of partnering with or even acquiring an established automaker.