OTTAWA -- BlackBerry Inc. is pushing further into automotive security with new driver identification and monitoring technology based on machine learning, more commonly known as artificial intelligence.
The as-yet-unnamed product, unveiled Tuesday at the CES trade show in Las Vegas, records driver inputs and can determine within seconds whether an operator is authorized for that vehicle, the Canadian software supplier said.
Based on user-identification systems developed by Cylance, a California AI specialist acquired by BlackBerry in 2019, the technology is part of a broader platform that uses products from across BlackBerry’s divisions to monitor vehicle health and performance.
It’s aimed at automakers and fleet operators looking to protect cars and trucks from existing risks and “future-proof” them to coming threats.
Charles Eagan, the head of BlackBerry’s recently formed Advanced Labs team, said the platform will come to market this year.
“We’re basically ready to integrate it,” Eagan, chief technology officer, told Automotive News Canada.
As well as deterring theft and unauthorized use, the driver-monitoring system will allow fleet managers to easily define where, when, even how drivers can operate a vehicle — just as a company can limit employee access to certain online or physical zones.
It could also identify issues such as driver distraction and fatigue, BlackBerry says.
AI is central to BlackBerry’s drive to be a world leader in security software for vehicles and for the larger connected world. Coding from its QNX division already runs dash displays and other systems in an estimated 150 million vehicles worldwide, but the Canadian company faces increasing competition from U.S. tech giants moving in to the transportation sector.