BlackBerry shares rocket upwards on AWS deal to integrate sensor data in vehicles

BlackBerry shares shot up in early trading on news that the company will partner with Amazon Web Services to jointly develop and market its vehicle data integration and monitoring platform, IVY.

BlackBerry stock was up 35%, or $2.11, at the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange. It’s a sign of both the potential market for smart vehicle services and the ability of Amazon businesses to boost the fortunes of businesses with its attention.

The former undisputed heavyweight of the smartphone market, BlackBerry has transformed itself into a provider of business security and information integration services, and it’s through this transformation that the company attracted the attention of Amazon’s web services business.

The companies first announced a collaboration in the pre-pandemic January of 2020 when BlackBerry said it would collaborate with AWS on connected vehicle safety and security services for in-vehicle applications.

Around 175 million vehicles are already using BlackBerry and AWS-enabled QNX service, which was first launched five years ago.

“In the past five years we’ve gone from BlackBerry QNX technology helping to power 60 million cars to today’s announcement of more than 175 million – a nearly threefold increase and a testament to the fact that today’s leading automakers and their tier one suppliers continue to put their trust in BlackBerry and our ability to provide them with safe and secure software upon which the next generation of vehicles is being built,” said John Chen, executive chairman and CEO, BlackBerry.

The newest iteration of connected car services from the Waterloo, Canada-based company allows automakers to read vehicle sensor data coming off of equipment from multiple vendors, normalize that data and provide insights around the data for use either remotely or in vehicles.

The IVY software system can run inside a vehicle’s embedded systems, but configured from the cloud to let automakers providers drivers with features that can include indications about road conditions, driver performance, or battery use for electric vehicles.

The BlackBerry toolkit can also make it easier for automakers to collaborate with a wider pool of developers to create new services around vehicle performance optimization, reduce maintenance costs and perform remote software updates on vehicles. Call it the potential for the Tesla-fication of a broad class of vehicles that use the service.

“Data and connectivity are opening new avenues for innovation in the automotive industry, 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,” said Chen in a statement. “This software platform promises to bring an era of invention to the in-vehicle experience and help create new applications, services, and opportunities without compromising safety, security, or customer privacy. We are pleased to expand our relationship with AWS to execute this vision and deliver BlackBerry IVY.”

Meanwhile… The Internet has jokes.