Monday, December 15, 2014

QNX celebrates crystal anniversary in automotive

Long-term success in the auto market relies on a potent mix of passion, persistence, innovation, and quality. And let's not forget trust.

Imagine, for a minute, that you are a bird. Not just any bird, but a bird that can fly 11,000 kilometers, non-stop, without food or rest.

That’s hard to imagine, I know. But the bird in question — the bar-tailed godwit — is very real, and its ability to fly across vast distances is well documented. Every year, as winter approaches, the godwit lifts off from its breeding grounds in Alaska, bears southwest, and doesn't stop beating its wings until it touches down in New Zealand. Total uninterrupted flight time: 216 hours.

The godwit epitomizes indomitable drive, infused with a dose of pure stick-with-it-ness. Qualities that, to me, characterize QNX Software Systems’ success in the auto market — a story that took flight 15 years ago.

Bar-tailed godwit: long-distance champion
© Andreas Trepte
It all started in 1999, when Motorola and QNX unveiled mobileGT, an automotive reference platform based on the QNX Neutrino OS. For the first time, QNX publicly threw its hat into the automotive ring. Mind you, QNX was already busy behind the scenes: 1999 also marked the first year that QNX technology shipped in passenger vehicles. It’s been a steady climb ever since, and you can now find QNX technology in tens of millions of vehicles.

There are many technical reasons why QNX has become a premier software provider for the automotive market. But for automakers and their tier one suppliers, technology alone isn’t enough. They also need to know that, as a supplier, you are deeply committed to the success of their projects — like the flight of the godwit, bailing out halfway isn’t an option. They also need to trust that, when you say you’ll do something, you will. And that you’ll do it on time. Even if you have to cross an ocean to do it.

In short, you might enter this market because of your skills and passion, but you thrive in it because you behave as a real partner, working in concert with your customers and fellow technology suppliers. That’s why I refer to our fifteenth anniversary in the car business with the same language used to describe a fifteenth wedding anniversary. Because we’re committed, we’re passionate, and we’re in for the long haul.

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