QNX celebrates 10 years in the auto business

I knew I was forgetting something, but couldn't put my finger on it. Then I remembered: September marked the 10th anniversary of QNX's entry into the automotive business.

In fact, September 14 is something of an official anniversary. On that day in 1999, Motorola unveiled mobileGT, an automotive reference platform based on the QNX Neutrino RTOS. For the first time, QNX publicly threw its hat into the automotive ring.

Being the (somewhat organized) pack rat that I am, it took only a few minutes to dig into my archives and find the announcement. Click to enlarge:

Now here's the thing. The Motorola unit responsible for mobileGT no longer exists. The IBM unit responsible for the Java layer no longer exists. Embedded Planet, if I remember correctly, eventually morphed into another company.

QNX, on the other hand, has not only survived, but managed to thrive in the automotive marketplace. A decade later, it has licensed its software for more than 10 million vehicle systems and built a customer list that starts with Audi and ends with Volkswagen — with precious few blanks in between.

I'm a longtime QNX employee — and a marketing guy to boot — so if I attempt to explain why this is so, you'll hear all the expected platitudes. So I won't even try.

Besides, 10 years of constant growth in the automotive business speaks for itself.

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