shares have spiked more than 50% on Tuesday amid surging investor optimism about the company’s automobile sensor software platform, known as Ivy.
Having long ago moved on from its once-iconic mobile phones, BlackBerry (ticker: BB) Tuesday morning announced a deal with
(AMZN) Amazon Web Services to jointly develop and market Ivy, which BlackBerry describes as “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.” The company said auto makers can use Ivy “to create responsive in-vehicle services that enhance driver and passenger experiences.”
The companies didn’t provide any financial details of the arrangement, but the announcement has had the effect of turning BlackBerry into a play on the red-hot market for connected cars.
BlackBerry said that 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, the company explains, “include an increasing variety of vehicle sensors,” generating data in many specialized 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 said. Ivy will apply machine learning to the 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 said 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,” the company said.
Ivy could, for instance, leverage vehicle data to recognize driver behavior and hazardous road conditions, and suggest the driver enable safety features like traction control or lane-keeping assist.
“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,” BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy said in a statement. “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.”
BlackBerry shares were surging 53.5%, at $9.01, in recent trading. The
is up 1.7%.
Write to Eric J. Savitz at [email protected]