Blackberry is gaining ground as a security systems and infotainment developer for car companies.
Remember BlackBerry? After its moment in the sun as the device of choice for businesses and button manufacturers, its experienced a spectacular fall from grace. Blackberry has nearly disappeared from the retail smartphone market thanks to the dominance of Apple's iPhone and devices running Google's Android operating system, but the company continues to develop communication and security software for businesses, as well as operating systems for some devices.
Hoping to avoid being the next brand featured in a Car Gets Hacked video, Jaguar Land Rover has turned to Blackberry for secure and safe electronic systems that will allow it to expand connected services and prepare for the huge amount of data exchange that autonomous vehicles will require. "Working with BlackBerry will enable us to develop the safe and secure next-generation connected car our customers want," said Dave Nesbitt, Vehicle Engineering Director at Jaguar Land Rover. "Together with BlackBerry engineers, we will be able to access the most dynamic and up-to-date software to ensure the highest security required for our connected vehicles."
Specifically, BlackBerry will license QNX and Certicom software to JLR, then ship over a batch of engineers to work hand-in-hand, keyboard-by-keyboard, integrating it with Jag's next generation Electronic Control Unit (ECU) modules for infotainment systems. Beyond infotainment systems, this will offer Jag and Land Rover customers peace of mind for secure over-the-air updates that they are already rolling out in the new 2019 I-Pace. Although Blackberry touts the security of its systems, its QNX division also developed the underlying systems for Uconnect, the target of previous successful hacks of Jeep vehicles. Some Mazda and Mitsubishi vehicles are also suspected of being vulnerable to hacking.