BlackBerry is back and would like to drive

BlackBerry is back and would like to drive

BlackBerry steers toward vehicle security as it unveils Jarvis device at Detroit Auto Show.

BlackBerry Ltd. is launching a new security tool for automobile manufacturers, one of the company’s major areas of growth.

John Chen, BlackBerry executive chairman, says the new Jarvis will scan all software components in a vehicle within minutes to predict and fix vulnerabilities.

The company is also banking on 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 engine 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 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, Ontario, didn’t announce what it will charge for Jarvis or how much revenue it is expected to generate.

Chen has said previously, however, that BlackBerry expects its other new automotive products to start contributing revenue a year or more after hitting the market.

  • Blackberry Jarvis is a customizable tool that delivers precise actionable insights.

  • It’s an automotive software is built by multiple tiers of suppliers with no established standards among them.

  • It helps companies achieve OEM-defined assurance standards across the software supply chain, regardless of the supplier or stage in the development process.

  • It’s easy to use, as no source code is needed, allowing easy integration with existing development tools via APIs.

  • More information can be found at Blackberry QNX.

The former smartphone company says Jarvis also has the potential to impact the healthcare, manufacturing, aerospace, and defense industries.

Over the past five years since joining BlackBerry, Chen has gradually reduced the company’s 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 watching as to 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.


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