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How Automotive Data Drives a Connected Future

Coffee in hand, a woman steps into the driver’s seat of her vehicle. The vehicle pulls out of the garage of its own volition. It transmits a signal as it does so, causing her home to lock up and activate its security systems.

She arrives at the office, calm and relaxed, having spent her 45-minute commute replying to emails and reviewing the report due this morning, instead of stressing about navigating the bumper to bumper traffic. It sounds like something out of science fiction (or failing that, a horror story about distracted driving).

Yet it will become reality sooner than you’d think. Autonomous vehicles are rapidly becoming more advanced. At this point, it’s not a question of if they’ll become commonplace, but one of when. And with the expansion of the Internet of Things, they will become a cornerstone of smart cities.

As noted by our CEO, John Chen, transportation is at the crux of the smart city. Self-driving cars are revolutionary, certainly. But it’s not their autonomy that makes them valuable – it’s their connectivity.

It’s access to the terabytes of data they generate in their day-to-day operation. Data which can be used not only to enhance the software development cycle for these vehicles, but also to enhance every stage of automotive design and production. Data which can be applied, on a larger scale, to make connected cities safer, smarter, and more efficient.

Automotive software company Renovo recognizes this potential.

“The embedded systems that live inside today’s next-generation vehicles generate incredibly valuable data,” says Chris Heiser, CEO and Co-Founder of Renovo. “The ability to quickly access the data the car creates is instrumental, not just for car companies but also for virtually anyone with a stake in the operation and maintenance of a vehicle in the field. It’s going to feed the smart cities where these vehicles run and operate, interacting with and enhancing their infrastructure in the process.” 

Designed to index, process, and analyze data from a vehicle’s numerous software systems, Renovo’s platform reduces the wait time to access advanced vehicular data from weeks down to minutes. Through machine learning, it identifies key insights, correlations, and events – all of which is readily searchable. It also represents a marked departure from traditional automotive data management.

“With The Renovo Platform, our goal is to liberate data from the vehicles that generate it,” explains Heiser. “Traditionally, automotive infrastructure is either completely locked down or limited to releasing very small subsets of data. This is to some extent by design – to protect the safety-critical systems that cannot be disrupted in any way, shape, or form.”

Therein lay one of Renovo’s core development challenges. The Renovo Platform needed to be capable of participating in safety-critical systems, while also retaining its identity as a dynamic, AI-driven solution. It was BlackBerry that provided an answer to this problem, through its QNX® Neutrino® Realtime Operating System (RTOS).

“There’s this kind of constant coherence which needs to exist between the AI pipeline world and the safety-critical world,” Heiser continues. “We need to participate in safety-critical computing, but we also need to be capable of rapidly buffering and extracting data for our AI pipelines. BlackBerry QNX helps us do both, and BlackBerry has demonstrated both the willingness and the ability to work with us on a rapid development cycle.”  

Data management represents both an enormous opportunity and an unprecedented challenge for automotive companies. They’ve never had to deal with unstructured data at all – let alone on this scale. Renovo provides the means to not only efficiently manage these vast datasets, but to do so in such a way that they unlock core insights which might otherwise go unnoticed.

Insights that will prove instrumental to a hyperconnected future – one in which both BlackBerry and Renovo will play an important role.

Read the full case study here, or learn more about BlackBerry QNX. Be sure to also tune in to CES 2020, January 7-10, where we’ll be on-site with Renovo to showcase The Renovo Platform, booth location LVCC, #7515, #BBCES2020. 

Grant Courville

About Grant Courville

Vice President of Products and Strategy at BlackBerry QNX