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BlackBerry and Jaguar Land Rover to develop next-generation vehicles

pauline cameron
|Sep 9|magazine9 min read

Blackberry and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) are set to expand their multi-year agreement – signed last year – to develop the next generation of vehicles.

Originally the partnership was formed to develop next-generation infotainment systems but has now grown to encompass new and developing tech. The project will include BlackBerry AI and machine learning for automotive and BlackBerry cybersecurity consulting.

BlackBerry is reticent to give details on exactly which technology would be used and the terms of the agreement, but it did say in a press release on 5 September that “cybersecurity threat protection” and “predictive software maintenance” were being discussed. BlackBerry will license QNX and Certicom technology to Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and a team of its engineers will help in the development of Electronic Control Unit (ECU) modules for infotainment systems.

"We are at a pivotal moment, where innovative automakers, such as Jaguar Land Rover, are realising they need to take an active role in defining the software architecture for their vehicles," said John Wall, SVP and GM of BlackBerry QNX, BlackBerry. "Connected and autonomous vehicles will react and drive based on rich data. Our platforms help process data efficiently and keep it secure and trusted. We are incredibly honored to work with Jaguar Land Rover and look forward to our teams working hand in hand to deliver an enhanced driving experience for their customers."

John Chen, Executive Chairman & CEO, BlackBerry said: “BlackBerry is a trusted partner of the automotive industry because of our heritage and innovations in secure communications. We are pleased to be Jaguar Land Rover’s chosen partner for safety-certified technology, as we advance Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies to transform automotive safety.”

Back in July 2019, JLR talked of an industry shift towards self-driving vehicles, specifically focusing their attention on driver wellbeing. Research into AI technology looks to understand a driver’s state of mind by reading facial cues and adjust the cabin settings to improve their experience.

Using driver-facing cameras and biometric sensors to monitor, evaluate and predict a driver’s mood, the software will adjust heating, air conditioning, media and ambient lighting to better suit the driver’s needs. This software will be combined with machine learning technology to learn a driver’s preferences and adjust accordingly.

Dr Steve Iley, JLRChief Medical Officer said, “As we move towards a self-driving future, the emphasis for us remains as much on the driver as it ever has. By taking a holistic approach to the individual driver, and implementing much of what we’ve learnt from the advances in research around personal wellbeing over the last 10 or 15 years, we can make sure our customers remain comfortable, engaged and alert behind the wheel.”

BlackBerry is set to release further information on the budding partnership during the BlackBerry World Tour 2019 starting in Japan on 11 September.