Ford's new Sync 3 infotainment system is built on QNX software (Photo: Ford)

BlackBerry has signed a deal with Ford Motor that will put more of the Canadian company's QNX software into Ford vehicles.

BlackBerry, whose QNX technology already powers connected systems in many cars, said the new agreement will let Ford expand its use of QNX and security software in its cars.

The agreement also means an acceleration of BlackBerry's strategic reorientation away from mobile phones toward software and software platforms for connected cars.

“The future of the automobile is all about embedded intelligence," BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in a statement.

As part of the agreement, BlackBerry will have a dedicated team working with Ford on expanding the use of its QNX Neutrino operating system. Other technologies that are part of the pact include Certicom security software, QNX hypervisor and QNX audio processing software.

Ford's Sync 3 infotainment, which is being introduced in its new models, is based on the BlackBerry QNX operating system and Ford indicated it is interested in expanding QNX implementations in its cars.

"Growing our expertise, experience and use of the BlackBerry QNX embedded software platforms will help ensure we deliver the high-quality, highly secure experience that our customers expect," Ford's chief technology officer, Raj Nair, said in a statement.

BlackBerry, once the leader in business smartphones, has in recent years struggled to keep up with competing devices made by Apple and by companies building phones that run on Google's Android operating system.

As a result, BlackBerry is now moving toward a device software licensing strategy. This, it said in a press release, will allow it to focus on putting "the smart in the phone."

BlackBerry's latest phone, the DTEK60, features the company's own security software, but it runs on Android and is manufactured by Chinese electronics group TCL.