Recently a story surfaced that BlackBerry was involved in a business transaction with German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen over an R&D facility in Bochum, Germany At first glance, many people drew the conclusion that BlackBerry was selling off a piece of its QNX division.
Closer examination would reveal, however, that it is simply a real estate purchase. The R&D building was already part of BlackBerry’s restructuring plans, and along with the purchase, Volkswagen has retained the BlackBerry employees who were employed at the facility to assist with Volkswagen’s future infotainment and vehicle connectivity plans.
Well, not to worry, folks: BlackBerry is doing just fine and is still on track to dominate the enterprise sector!
Volkswagen announced today they have purchased a former BlackBerry Research and Development building in Bochum, Germany. The former building was a research and development center for BlackBerry. The 200 employees of BlackBerry have been retained by Volkswagen and will be employed by the German auto maker. Volkswagen plans to start development in future infotainment systems and improved vehicle connectivity.
Volkswagen Infotainment GmbH founded in WolfsburgThe Volkswagen Group is taking over BlackBerry’s European research and development centre in Bochum (Germany). With the newly founded Volkswagen Infotainment GmbH, the Wolfsburg-based automotive group is further expanding its expertise and capabilities in the field of vehicle connectivity. With its objective of interlinking vehicles and the surrounding world, the field of ‘connectivity’ forms a focal point of research and development within the Volkswagen Group that has seen rapid growth in recent years. New strategies and innovations are needed in order that interlinking driver and with the infrastructure can be further optimised.
The exchange of information between vehicle and phones and car keys, is already taking place today. In the near future further forms of communication will become equally established: communication between vehicle and the driver’s home or office; communication between vehicle and filling stations, parking spaces and road infrastructure (car-to-X communication); and ultimately also from vehicle to vehicle (car-to-car communication). It will be possible in this way to provide drivers with very prompt information of any hold-ups or obstructions. Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, Member of the Board of Management Volkswagen Brand for the Development Division, explains: “Connectivity will be a key feature of the future. Many customers are expecting connected vehicles of a new dimension in terms of convenience and road safety. Around the globe, our customers’ aspirations will change rapidly, leading to shortened cycles of innovation for systems and functions. In order to be able to meet these challenges it is necessary for us to broaden and expand our options through additional know-how.”
So there you have it. Can we put that one to bed now?