AWS and BlackBerry to push IVY software for auto sensor data inference

Automakers will be able to use BlackBerry IVY with machine learning from AWS to interpret data from myriad sensors and car parts to create better services for drivers and improve future vehicle designs and functions. (Getty Images)


Cloud provider AWS and BlackBerry announced a multi-year agreement on Tuesday to develop and market IVY, a BlackBerry software platform for automakers that reads sensor data in vehicles and uses machine learning to offer inferences.

With the data, BlackBerry’s IVY offers insights to inform actions in both the vehicle and the cloud, the companies said. Automakers can use the information to create in-vehicle services.  IVY will run inside a vehicle’s embedded systems but will be managed and configured remotely from the cloud.

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IVY from BlackBerry for auto inference

In one example, the companies said the tool could be used to recognize driver behavior and see heavy traffic or icy roads, then offer a recommendation that the driver activate traffic control, lane-keeping assist or adaptive cruise control. Then, IVY could offer feedback to automakers on how and when such safety features are used, allowing them to adapt vehicles for better performance.

In another example, IVY could help drivers of electric vehicles share their battery readings with third-party charging networks to automatically reserve a charging connector and set up charging time based on the driver’s location and itinerary.

Opportunities for parental control are also possible, with IVY giving insights to parents when the number of passengers on-board change or when the driver appears to be speeding or is texting. 

IVY acts like a traffic cop who routes vehicles from many directions onto a highway on-ramp.   In the case of modern cars and trucks, there are thousands of parts from different suppliers with proprietary components and myriad sensors that produce data in specialized formats.  Because of this management problem developers can’t innovate quickly.

BlackBerry IVY applies machine learning to the disparate data streams to create inferences about how automakers can interact with cars and their drivers.  IVY supports multiple vehicle operating systems and multi-cloud deployments.

IVY is built upon BlackBerry QNX, a Unix-like real-time OS for use in embedded systems, including in cars and mobile phones.   It was first developed in the early 1980s by Quantum Software Systems, based in Canada, that was later renamed QNX Software Systems before it was acquired by BlackBerry in 2010.  AWS will offer services such as IoT and machine learning as part of the agreement.

Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS said the agreement with BlackBerry will allow automakers to “transform vehicles from fixed pieces of technology into systems that can grow and adapt with a user’s need and preferences.”

BlackBerry software already secures 500 million endpoints, including 175 million cars on the roads now.   The company has created a web site to register to learn more about IVY. 

The site notes that IVY will offer in-vehicle APIs to safely access sensor data outputs, then process that data with code including ML to share the insights with app developers.

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