It seems just the other day that they were renowned as the leading smartphone manufacturer in the world. Now, BlackBerry is shifting focus to automotive technology in a move that is likely to see the technology manufacturer decisively change lanes and move into automotive cybersecurity.
While BlackBerry is still involved in the manufacturing of smartphones and smart devices, the company’s growing footprint in the automotive sector is central to its turnaround efforts, with the ultimate goal of moving away from smartphones and seeking more joint ventures with automakers and parts suppliers.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen notes that the company is aiming to achieve this goal by forging partnerships with universities in Canada and the US in order to attract young engineering talent.
Shifting into gear
As a start, BlackBerry recently announced a partnership with Virginia Tech, which happens to be one of the leading universities in connected vehicles and autonomous vehicle research.
According to www.autonews.com BlackBerry will work in conjunction with the university’s mechanical-engineering department to provide training for students on its QNX operating system. This system is used by renowned automakers and suppliers, including, Delphi, Jaguar, Land Rover and Nvidia.
BlackBerry further made a host of other announcements last year, including the launch of Jarvis, a cloud-based cybersecurity product that can identify security flaws in code that are used in automotive software. The company also signed an agreement with China-based Internet giant Baidu, which will use QNX in its autonomous-driving system.
How Blackberry’s technology is aiding automotive cybersecurity
Connected and autonomous cars, which are becoming more and more prevalent, are highly complex. Indicative of this fact is displayed in the software that runs the 2019 Ford F-150, which contains about 150 million lines of code, while an estimated 300 million lines of code will exist in a fully autonomous vehicle.
Kaivan Karimi, BlackBerry Technology Solutions’ head of sales and marketing, notes that generating interest among engineering students in the field of automotive cybersecurity will help the industry “stay two steps ahead” of hackers and criminals as more connected vehicles hit the road.
Why has BlackBerry gone this route?
When Blackberry first debuted in 2006, it was widely viewed as a pioneer in smart phone technology. However, the emergence of more sophisticated and technologically savvy iPhones and Android phones gradually took away BlackBerry’s dominance of the market and eventually led to its almost total decline in this sector.
As such, the company has gradually sought new technologies and emerging markets in the last few years with the intention of reinventing themselves as an invaluable partner in technology securities. As such, the shift towards automotive cybersecurity is a natural progression in their overall business plan.
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