Amazon Web Services (AWS) and BlackBerry yesterday announced a multi-year, global agreement to develop and market the latter’s intelligent vehicle data platform that would allow automakers to create responsive in-vehicle services that enhance driver and passenger experiences.
Called IVY, the scalable and cloud-connected software platform, will allow automakers to provide a consistent and secure way to read vehicle sensor data, normalise it, and create actionable insights from that data both locally in the vehicle and in the cloud.
“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, AWS. “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.”
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 specialised formats.
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 is aimed at solving 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 personalised and able to act based on those insights.
In a joint statement both companies said BlackBerry IVY will support multiple vehicle operating systems and multi-cloud deployments to ensure compatibility across vehicle models and brands. The platform will build upon BlackBerry QNX’s capabilities for surfacing and normalising 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 optimise 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.
Mining vehicle data
Both company gave a glimpse of how the platform works to continuously provide useful feedback to automakers by tapping into in-vehicle data gathered by the various sensors.
Using vehicle data, BlackBerry Ivy can recognise driver behaviour and hazardous conditions such as icy roads or heavy traffic and then recommend that a driver enables 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.
Furthermore, BlackBerry IVY could also provide insights to parents of teenage drivers who may choose to receive customised 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.
Reduce time-to-market new online services
AWS and BlackBerry anticipate that with their joint efforts to develop the platform, automakers will be able to compress the timeline to build, deploy, and monetise new in-vehicle applications and connected services across multiple vehicle brands and models.
Instead of investing in one-off solutions that conform to the unique engineering of different vehicle models (as they do today), automakers using BlackBerry IVY will be able to leverage different types of data as common building blocks for new services that could work across a range of models.
Automakers will be able to use the platform’s application programming interfaces (APIs) to share data and outputs with their software development teams, giving them the ability to innovate, while also protecting customer privacy and security by controlling whom can access vehicle and app data and at what level of detail.
“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.
Indeed, BlackBerry IVY will make it easier for automakers to collaborate with a wider pool of developers to accelerate creation of new offerings that deliver improved vehicle performance, reduced costs for maintenance and repairs, and added convenience.
For instance, by analysing real-time performance data, automakers could recognise the first signs of potentially faulty parts, deploy code to identify affected vehicles, notify impacted drivers, and perform targeted recalls. Automakers will be able to remotely deploy and update the software from the platform’s Cloud Console (a web interface for managing BlackBerry IVY) to continuously improve the functionality of the system.
“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,” Chen added.