BlackBerry steers toward vehicle security as it unveils tool at Detroit Auto Show.
John Chen, BlackBerry executive chairman, says the new Jarvis will scan all software components in a vehicle within minutes to predict and fix vulnerabilities.
BlackBerry Ltd. is launching a new security tool for automobile manufacturers, one of the company’s major areas of growth.
Jarvis introduces a new business model: every device will be customized for each manufacturer and sold by BlackBerry on a pay-per-use basis.
Recently, BlackBerry and Chinese internet search outfit Baidu signed a deal to jointly develop self-driving vehicle technology, sending BlackBerry’s shares up 13% to a four year high as shareholders realized that the company really does now have a life after it abandoned smartphones.
The deal follows similar agreements with firms including Qualcomm, Denso and Aptiv to develop autonomous driving technology with BlackBerry’s QNX software, which is expected to start generating revenue in 2019.
The company, based in Waterloo, Ont., didn’t announce what it will charge for Jarvis or how much revenue it is expected to generate for BlackBerry.
Chen has said previously, however, that BlackBerry expects its other new automotive products would start contributing revenue a year or more after hitting the market.
The former smartphone company says Jarvis also has the potential for the healthcare, manufacturing, aerospace, and defense industries.
Over the past five years since joining BlackBerry, Chen has gradually reduced its dependence on smartphone sales and repositioned the company formerly known as Research In Motion as an innovator in cybersecurity and software.
Investors and analysts are closely watching what comes of those agreements amid expectations that QNX could become a key technology in the burgeoning self-driving vehicle industry, serving as the operating system for computer chips used to run them.
QNX will be the operating system for Apollo, a platform for self-driving vehicles that Baidu announced in April and billed as the “Android” of the autonomous driving industry.
The company has a lot riding on its BlackBerry QNX division, a formerly independent Ottawa-based software developer that’s made inroads with Ford Motor Co. and automotive suppliers around the world.
The division conducted Canada’s first driverless car trial in October.