BlackBerry Teams Up with Amazon on Data Platform
New software tool promises to speed development times and spur innovation
BlackBerry and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are launching a new data platform that they say will make it easier to compile, share, analyze and monetize various vehicle and driver-related information.
Dubbed BlackBerry IVY, the standardized toolkit is designed to work across car brands and models without requiring major modifications, which the companies say can’t be done with current systems. At the same time, the platform allows carmakers to provide highly customized and updatable content—including access to third-party vendors.
“Data and connectivity are opening new avenues for innovation,” notes BlackBerry CEO John Chen. “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.”
AI and Cloud Sourcing
IVY combines BlackBerry QNX’s capabilities for surfacing and normalizing data with AWS’s expertise in machine learning and IoT services.
The platform will feature embedded components but will be managed and configured remotely from the cloud, enabling greater visibility into data, control over who can access it and edge computing capabilities to optimize how quickly and efficiently information is processed, according to the partners.
As a result, they say, new features, functionality and performance can be added over a vehicle’s life. Such capabilities also could help carmakers cash in by creating new business models and revenue streams.
Using machine learning, IVY can provide predictive analysis based on data collected from sensors and other vehicle systems.
This includes recognizing hazardous conditions such as icy roads or heavy traffic and activating safety features accordingly. In addition to helping drivers, feedback could be provided to carmakers and suppliers about how and when customers use different technologies.
Other potential applications include:
- Occupant personalization — customizing or restricting infotainment content based on who’s in the vehicle, and reminding drivers not to inadvertently leave children or pets behind when exiting a vehicle.
- Parental controls — engaging child safety locks when appropriate and generating reports and alerts about a teenager’s driving habits, such as speeding, texting or bringing too many friends onboard.
- Sign and object detection — integrating camera data, GPS and vehicle mapping data to identify a sign type and location to determine potential traffic slowdowns and provide customized recommendations (restaurants and shopping) based on personal preferences.
In addition, BlackBerry says IVY can be used to locate and reserve time at electric vehicle charging stations, identify potential recall issues and provide driver ratings (assuming they consent to it) to insurance companies to enable discounts that more accurately reflect real world behaviors.
The new platform also is expected to make it easier for carmakers, suppliers and third-party developers to collaborate.
Instead of investing in one-off systems that conform to the unique engineering of different vehicles and various proprietary hardware, software and sensors, BlackBerry says, companies will be able to use shared data and common building blocks across models as new features are added.
“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,” adds AWS CEO Andy Jassy.
Continental, an automotive supplier that has a deep engineering bench, is making a huge organizational change, one that Dr. Elmar Degenhart, chairman of the executive board, explains is necessary because, as he puts it, “The industry is changing at a high pace, so we have to change, too.”
Perhaps it has something to do with comparatively low gas prices.
Volkswagen AG’s namesake brand plans to launch its own car-sharing service next year and is developing an integrated software control program to help coordinate vehicle sensors and autonomous driving technologies.