What do BlackBerry, Qualcomm and Nokia have in common? The connected car

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At CES on Tuesday, BlackBerry’s QNX Software Systems revealed two new high-profile partners to help it out in its quest to dominate the software underneath the dashboard. It has struck deals with Qualcomm to support the chipmaker’s new venture into the infotainment application processors and it’s working with Nokia’s Here group to develop cloud-based location services.

The trio may sound like an odd grouping until you consider their respective automotive backgrounds. Many people know QNX is the underlying software in BlackBerry’s latest operating systems, but it’s long been one of the key suppliers of OS software for car infotainment and control systems. By virtue of its acquisition of Navteq, Nokia Here is a huge supplier of mapping data and navigation technology to the automotive industry.

Qualcomm actually started out as a vehicle tracking and telematics company, but at CES on Monday it announced plans to bring its Snapdragon platform into the car. It’s hoping its new infotainment chips can dominate the connected vehicle world the way its app processors dominate the smartphone market, and it’s betting QNX can help it.

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