Apple Inc has dozens of software engineers in Canada building a car operating system, a rare move for a company that often houses research and development projects close to its Cupertino, California headquarters, according to people familiar with the matter.
Many of the engineers working in Canada were hired over the past year and about two dozen came from BlackBerry Ltd's QNX, a leading automotive software provider, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing details of a secret project.
The engineers now work at an Apple office in the Ottawa suburb of Kanata, about a five-minute walk from QNX, the people said.
Apple targeted QNX employees because of their experience developing fundamental components of operating systems and power management, a former QNX executive said. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.
The most notable Apple hire from QNX was its chief executive officer, Dan Dodge. Since joining Apple's Project Titan car initiative early this year, he's taken on a larger role overseeing the car operating system, splitting his time between Canada and California, the people said. Another notable addition is Derrick Keefe, who left QNX last year after more than a decade as a senior engineer, one of the people said.
The car operating system is the software core of a future Apple car platform, in the same way iOS powers the iPhone.