QNX has been tricking out cars at CES for years now, and this year it has a Porsche Carrera out on the show floor. The head unit has been retrofitted with a customized BlackBerry PlayBook running the QNX's CAR (Connected Automotive Reference) platform, though it incorporates some features of the company's upcoming CAR 2. In addition to the PlayBook front and center, the company added an all-digital instrument cluster and two more PlayBooks in the rear seat headrests for a multi-nodal entertainment system. Media can be pulled or pushed from any of the PlayBooks which are networked over Ethernet, and the tablet integration is a major feature of CAR 2. An NFC chip embedded under the head unit allows for easy device pairing, and the car has text-to-speech capabilities for SMS, email, and BBM. Though the main interface is mostly OpenGL and Flash, there are also elements of HTML5 in the user interface.
QNX is also debuting a new version of the platform called CAR 2. This version is made in HTML5 through and through, allowing easy skinning by automakers, and greater support for HTML5 apps in addition to Flash, Qt, and OpenGL. It will also incorporate natural language speech recognition powered by the RIM-owned Vlingo, and support both online and offline apps. With the introduction of the new platform, we should also see car apps appearing in BlackBerry App World — seriously. QNX wouldn't tell us which companies it's working with specifically, but Audi was quoted in the CAR 2 press release.