Amazon Web Services and BlackBerry announced Tuesday a joint data platform that could guide automakers and third-party developers in personalizing and improving cloud-connected vehicles.
Amazon Web Services, or AWS, and BlackBerry said in a statement that they were creating a scalable, cloud-connected software platform, coined BlackBerry Ivy, to address challenges with automotive data access, collection and management. Ivy's development will take place under a multiyear global agreement.
The intelligent vehicle data platform "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 companies said.
BlackBerry Ivy will apply machine learning to data produced by vehicle sensors and other vehicle hardware and software to generate predictive insights.
The companies said this will enable "automakers to offer in-vehicle experiences that are highly personalized and able to take action based on those insights."
For example, Ivy could use data to recognize driver behaviour in hazardous conditions, recommend to drivers that they use relevant vehicle safety features, and then provide automakers with feedback on the use of those features.
“If this plays out the way we expect it will be transformational,” BlackBerry Senior Vice-President and Co-Head, BlackBerry Technology Solutions John Wall told Automotive News Canada.
Automakers that receive real-time performance data from Ivy could discover potentially faulty components, identify affected vehicles and notify drivers. They could then perform targeted recalls.
Amazon Web Services and BlackBerry said automakers will "be able to deliver new features, functionality and performance" as well as establish new revenue opportunities based on the data.
"Data and connectivity are opening new avenues for innovation in the automotive industry," BlackBerry CEO John Chen said in the statement, "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."
The platform expands upon the existing automotive partnership between the two tech giants.
They teamed up at CES in Las Vegas last January to create a connected-vehicle software platform concept combining BlackBerry's QNX operating system with Amazon's cloud services to aid in connected and autonomous vehicle development.
BlackBerry Ivy will build upon BlackBerry QNX’s capabilities, the tech giant said. BlackBerry IVY will help automakers create personalized driver and passenger experiences and improve operations of cloud-connected vehicles with new BlackBerry QNX and AWS technology.
Wall said the IVY platform is the result of a far larger collaboration than initially envisioned. It's meant to streamline programming and could rival smartphone operating systems in the ease of adding applications.
“You could see it being similar to Android or IOS from an apps development perspective,” he said.
The platform is jointly owned by BlackBerry and AWS. The companies did not disclose terms of the deal beyond saying it is a “multi-year” agreement.
Wall said Amazon's heft will be key in achieving widespread sales and establishing IVY's programming interfaces as the go-to destinations for software developers.
Both partners have strong ties to the auto industry, BlackBerry through its QNX division that supplies automotive software and has deep knowledge of vehicle architecture, and AWS through machine learning, edge computing and other cloud-delivered services. Wall said the team is already working with “a number” of automakers on adopting the platform and “we have had interest from all of them.”
He stressed that the platform can operate independently of BlackBerry or Amazon.
“What that means is that BlackBerry QNX may not even be in the vehicle for this, and the cloud provider might be Microsoft. The idea here is because we want to go global with this, and with scale, there is no requirement on our software or AWS being part of the equation.”