AWS and BlackBerry join forces to accelerate innovation with new intelligent vehicle data platform

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Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company (NASDAQ: AMZN), and BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB, TSX: BB), a worldwide leader in intelligent security software and services, announced a multi-year, global agreement to develop and market BlackBerry’s Intelligent Vehicle Data Platform, known as IVY. BlackBerry IVY is a scalable, cloud-connected software platform that will allow automakers to provide a consistent and secure way to read vehicle sensor data, normalize it, and create actionable insights from that data both locally in the vehicle and in the cloud.

Automakers can use this information to create responsive in-vehicle services that enhance driver and passenger experiences.

“Data and connectivity are opening new avenues for innovation in the automotive industry, and BlackBerry and AWS share a common vision to provide automakers and developers with better insights so that they can deliver new services to consumers,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry. “This software platform promises to bring an era of invention to the in-vehicle experience and help create new applications, services, and opportunities without compromising safety, security, or customer privacy. We are pleased to expand our relationship with AWS to execute this vision and deliver BlackBerry IVY.”

BlackBerry IVY addresses a critical data access, collection, and management problem in the automotive industry. Modern cars and trucks are built with thousands of parts from many different suppliers, with each vehicle model comprising a unique set of proprietary hardware and software components. These components, which include an increasing variety of vehicle sensors, produce data in unique and specialized formats.

“AWS and BlackBerry are making it possible for any automaker to continuously reinvent the customer experience and transform vehicles from fixed pieces of technology into systems that can grow and adapt with a user’s needs and preferences,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, Inc. “Through this joint effort with BlackBerry, we will provide automakers with the insights, capabilities, agility, and speed they need to thrive in an increasingly connected world. As automakers seek to race ahead in their digital transformations, BlackBerry IVY empowers them to build their brands and set the standard for connected vehicle services across the automotive industry.”

The highly specific skills required to interact with this data, as well as the challenges of accessing it from within contained vehicle subsystems, limit developers’ abilities to innovate quickly and bring new solutions to market. BlackBerry IVY will solve for these challenges by applying machine learning to that data to generate predictive insights and inferences, making it possible for automakers to offer in-vehicle experiences that are highly personalized and able to take action based on those insights.

BlackBerry IVY will support multiple vehicle operating systems and multi-cloud deployments in order to ensure compatibility across vehicle models and brands. It will build upon BlackBerry QNX’s capabilities for surfacing and normalizing data from automobiles and AWS’s broad portfolio of services, including capabilities for IoT and machine learning. BlackBerry IVY will run inside a vehicle’s embedded systems, but will be managed and configured remotely from the cloud. As a result, automakers will gain greater visibility into vehicle data, control over who can access it, and edge computing capabilities to optimize how quickly and efficiently the data is processed. With BlackBerry IVY’s integrated capabilities, automakers will be able to deliver new features, functionality, and performance to customers over the lifetime of their cloud-connected vehicles, as well as unlock new revenue streams and business models built on vehicle data.

For instance, BlackBerry IVY could leverage vehicle data to recognize driver behavior and hazardous conditions such as icy roads or heavy traffic and then recommend that a driver enable relevant vehicle safety features such as traction control, lane-keeping assist, or adaptive cruise control. IVY could then provide automakers with feedback on how and when those safety features are used, allowing them to make targeted investments to improve vehicle performance.

Additionally, drivers of electric vehicles could choose to share their car’s battery information with third-party charging networks to proactively reserve a charging connector and tailor charging time according to the driver’s current location and travel plans. BlackBerry IVY could also provide insights to parents of teenage drivers who may choose to receive customized notifications based on insights from vehicle sensors when the number of passengers in the vehicle changes, when the driver appears to be texting, distracted, or not observing speed limits, or when the vehicle occupancy level rises above the parents’ desired safety threshold. Similarly, parents of infants could receive a reminder to engage the child safety lock when the vehicle detects a child in the rear seat.

Blackberry’s stock on the TSX jumped from about $7 per share on the news to $12.50 before retreating back to about $10.  Blackberry continues its transition away from building hardware to an important software player specializing in secure communications and in providing communications answers for the automotive market.

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