BLACKBERRY WANTS TO ENTER THE AUTOMOTIVE MARKET
Good morning dear readers of Tecnogalaxy, today we will talk about BlackBerry that wants to enter the automotive market.
Last week was the BlackBerry annual analyst summit. Because BlackBerry tools and the QNX operating system are expected to be widely used in the next generation of cars, this event often offers a vision of the future of cars. That future is coming very quickly and it promises to change almost everything that we currently define as a car, from who drives it, to how it behaves while you own it. These changes should also drastically reduce the ownership of cars by individuals.
These cars of the future will increasingly be like computers with wheels. They will have more computing power than the supercomputers of a few years ago, will be equipped with services and will be preloaded with accessories.
Talking about the “software-defined-vehicle” (SDV), that will arrive on the market in just three or four years. Then we close with the product of the week, always by BlackBerry, perfect for today’s confrontational and changing world. It’s something that every company and country should have implemented by now, and it’s critical to the pandemic and the hybrid world of work we currently live in.
TROUBLED JOURNEY OF CAR MANUFACTURERS TO THE SDV
Classic vehicle software has been slowly making its way into the market for the last two decades and it hasn’t been great. This future concept of car, as I noted above, is basically a supercomputer with wheels that can navigate the road, and sometimes off the road, as needed, autonomously, often much better than a human driver can do.
Over time, the proprietary approach has waned in popularity. Automakers realized that Tesla was decades away from matching, and they began to move toward collaborating with technology companies that knew how to build a better IT platform.
PLANNED BIRTH OF THE SDV
Over time and surprisingly slowly, automotive OEMs began to adopt technology from the computer industry. Nvidia has had tremendous success here as most automakers now use its Omniverse-based simulation platform to develop their own software. Since it is initially the far less risky approach, some are even planning to use Nvidia hardware, at least initially, to avoid the likely liability and potential recalls that will result from using a hardware platform that was not part of the complete Nvidia solution.
On the software side, BlackBerry provided its QNX operating system that was developed to meet very high military and infrastructure needs (an example of nuclear power plants) focused specifically on security. You want your car’s operating system to be very safe because no one wants to take a nap in the back of their car when hacked.
This combination of technologies allows automakers to rethink how they deliver cars. So far, for most modern cars, you get what you order. If something goes wrong, you change it, you do it in the aftermarket. But car manufacturers have realized that they can integrate functionality into cars that can later be turned on thanks to subscriptions. In turn, this can extend the earning potential for their products beyond the initial sale and provide instant gratification for their users.
Just like you can run a variety of apps and games on your phone, you will be able to progressively do the same with your car. But with these abilities come equivalent risks that the car can be compromised and do bad things, and since we are talking about a fast, heavy and high-speed vehicle, those “bad things” could turn out to be a brand killer if enough hacks occur in a very narrow window.
BlackBerry shared that the combination of switching to SDV along with the use of BlackBerry technologies such as QNX and IVY, are helping automakers make this transition defined by the software safely, so we are not worried that, Instead of taking us for a ride, our cars will take us for a ride.
The cars that will show up mid-decade, in just three years, will be very different from the fixed products that we have today. They will be upgradable by the software, safer and more autonomous. To get there, automakers, with some exceptions, have moved to adopt and use the technology of companies such as IBM, Nvidia and BlackBerry. When cars can pick you up and they don’t need drivers, it’s argued that we won’t have any more cars but will pay for a service. And yet, even before it becomes common, our cars will become software-defined, which means they’ll be upgradable over the air, including adding features that you didn’t initially order but later found you wanted, and they will increasingly be able to guide themselves.
Ensuring that the outcome is safe is crucial for both our lives as drivers and pedestrians, but also to minimize OEM liability and maximize revenue, at the same time reducing the car abandonment rate and keeping more cars out of landfills.
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