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CES 2022: Flying Cars Take a Backseat to EV Demonstrations and More

AUTOMOTIVE / 01.19.22 / Jeffrey Davis

With concerns swirling around the latest COVID-19 variant, the return of the international Consumer Electronics Show® (CES) as a live exhibition in Las Vegas this year presented a multitude of challenges for exhibitors, attendees, and press alike. Numerous high-profile companies pulled out, events were cancelled, the exhibit schedule was shortened, and additional protective measures were put in place to keep people on the convention show floor as safe as possible.

As the show opened, the uncertainty of how CES® 2022 would pan out was quickly replaced with delight by show attendees (both in-person and virtual) at the latest tech innovations unveiled. News reports began to break of exciting new high-definition televisions, video games, drones, techie gear, and other novel devices being introduced this year.

But much of the buzz was centered around one topic: electric vehicles (EVs).

CES 2022 Automotive Notables

Futuristic concepts and demonstrations from automakers gave auto enthusiasts plenty to get excited about at CES. Veering away from the flying Cadillac eVOL concept shown at the virtual CES 2021, General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced the all-electric Silverado truck via virtual keynote, and online orders for the first edition sold out in 12 minutes. Among various versions of electric and self-driving vehicles, there were surprises from Sony revealing plans to develop its own branded EV, the Vision-S 02, and from LG with the introduction of the LG Vision Omnipod, which will be a self-driving motor home you can live in. Additionally, BMW revealed the iX Flow, an SUV with revolutionary technology that can change the car’s exterior colors according to the driver’s mood.

As one of the companies that stayed true to exhibiting in-person, BlackBerry shared notable automotive news of its own, featuring partnerships, new product features and capabilities, and the first live public demonstration of BlackBerry IVY™, the company’s cloud-connected software platform designed to give developers and automakers a reliable and secure way to share vehicle sensor data. 

Partnerships: BlackBerry and PATEO

BlackBerry announced a strategic collaboration with PATEO, a leading Chinese OEM and Internet of Vehicles (IoV) technology service and product provider, that will see BlackBerry IVY integrated into PATEO’s intelligent digital cockpit solution. The partnership lays the groundwork for developing new data-driven, in-vehicle services, and for driving new business opportunities in the Chinese market.

New Feature of BlackBerry Jarvis

BlackBerry introduced a new feature of BlackBerry® Jarvis®, the company’s software composition analysis tool, that enables those doing business with the U.S. federal government to comply with the recent software bill of materials (SBOM) requirement from U.S. President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity.

BlackBerry IVY Demo

At CES 2022, BlackBerry unveiled details of how it is paving the way for the “software-defined vehicles” of the future, with an automotive-grade hardware demonstration of BlackBerry IVY, the intelligent vehicle data platform BlackBerry has co-developed with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Compatible with most operating systems and cloud platforms, BlackBerry IVY requires no specialized embedded or automotive software skills. Incorporating technology from BlackBerry IVY ecosystem partners HERE Technologies, Car IQ and Electra Vehicles, the demo illustrates powerful use cases that can be enabled via the platform, in the form of enhanced predictive capabilities, intelligent recommendations, and secure in-car payment methods that utilize in-vehicle data from multiple sensors.

Fox Business CES Interview with John Chen

On Thursday during CES, BlackBerry chairman and CEO John Chen discussed partnering with automakers in the EV race, via a virtual interview with Fox Business host Liz Claman, appearing as part of her show, “The Claman Countdown.”

Reminiscing about the years she enjoyed using her many BlackBerry® devices, Claman talked with Chen about BlackBerry recently sunsetting its mobile handset operating system business. She complimented Chen on the quality of BlackBerry enterprise cybersecurity and then discussed BlackBerry's transformation to a software company and Chen’s move to port its “best-in-class enterprise communications to the car.”

The interview also explored new BlackBerry partnerships in the connected vehicle space. Curious about where BlackBerry IVY will fit into the current auto software landscape, Claman asked, “What can BlackBerry IVY do that the others cannot?” Chen explained that “BlackBerry IVY is on a level way beyond” most competitors in the space. “The new market is the in-vehicle data platform,” Chen continued, providing the ability to “move data securely from the cloud to the car and back,” and in the process, affording the ability to gain valuable insights and analysis on “everything inside and outside of your car.”

Additional information about BlackBerry and our exhibition at CES 2022, including demonstrations of BlackBerry IVY, is available to watch here.

BlackBerry 2022 CES Video Transcript

Matthew Chandler:
Hi there, I’m Matt Chandler from BlackBerry’s Corporate Communications team. I'm coming to you from Las Vegas, Nevada at the 2022 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show®. We know it’s a bit of a different year, this year, and a lot of you couldn’t make it, so hopefully this is the next best thing so you can feel like you’re here. 

This year, we’re showcasing BlackBerry® QNX® technologies and a couple of demos that really helped to bring BlackBerry IVY™ to life, one of which you can see on this Jaguar I-PACE right here. Make sure to follow us on all the social channels over the coming days so you can see what we're up to in the booth.

Let me introduce you to Mattias Eriksson, President of BlackBerry’s IoT business unit. Mattias welcome. 

Mattias Eriksson:
Thanks Matt. There is obviously a lot going on at CES® 2022. Our tagline for this event is “Foundational Software for the Intelligent Edge,” and you can actually see it on the wall here behind us. Let me say a few words about that before I get into the exhibits themselves. Simplistically, we believe in a world where there are an increasing amount of edge devices being deployed. In addition to that, each of these devices are becoming more intelligent and almost by definition, as they become more intelligent, they become software defined. 

If you believe in that, you have to invest in a foundational software stack for the intelligent edge, and that is precisely what we have been doing for the last several years. That is what we're doing today, and what we're doing for many years to come. Here at CES 2022, we are picking a few select examples of roadmap progress that we've had in the last 12 months, and we are showcasing that in demos. For example, we are showcasing BlackBerry IVY here.

You might remember, BlackBerry IVY is the joint venture we announced with AWS last year and I'm very happy to say over the next 12 months here we have progressed a very aggressive roadmap together with AWS. We actually have “live” jointly integrated code running here on automotive grade hardware. In this particular case, the NXP IMX8 is sitting on top of a Linux® stack to prove the point that this is now an agnostic solution.

For this use-case that we’re showcasing, we have integrated several of our ecosystem partners. We have Car IQ for vehicle identity and payments. We have Electra for their AI based battery managed solution. We have HERE for location data. That would be one example of what we will have in the exhibits. 

Another example would be our BlackBerry Jarvis® solution. We launched a rapidly progressing product in the second half of last year called Jarvis. It is our software composition analysis tool that allows anyone building an intelligent edge device to create a comprehensive software bill of material and analyze that software stack without having access to source code, just using binaries, and thus secure the software supply chain. Very important for many of our customers and partners and we've gained tremendous traction over the last six months with that solution. 

There are a couple of other things we're showcasing, but another important point for us here at CES 2022 is to reconnect with customers and partners and talk to them about the next three to five years, what they're doing, and how we can help them in their software road maps. 

At the end of the day, we are investing very heavily in the key components for this stack. We're investing in performance and safety and security and reliability. Ultimately, we want to help our customers and partners drive time to market down, decrease costs, and obviously secure the IoT edge. 

Matthew Chandler:
Thanks so much for that overview, Mattias. I look forward to doing a bit of a deeper dive into each one of those demos that you just described. But first before we do that, let's find out a little bit more about what BlackBerry QNX has been up to these past 12 months and learn more about some of the progress that they've made.

I'm here with Mike Hamstra, Director of Automotive Sales for BlackBerry QNX. He's going to tell us a little bit more about what the company's been up to these past 12 months.

Michael Hamstra:
Absolutely. From an investment perspective, we've invested significantly into the BlackBerry QNX foundational software. Part of that investment has resulted in new products on our roadmap focusing on our core tenets of safety, security, performance and reliability. From a hypervisor virtualization perspective, we have received great traction. As you can see here, we have many automotive OEM programs. We have some in production, production programs, as well as many more in development. 

From a professional services capability, we are pleased to announce we have increased our capabilities and our capacity. The capacity increase is up to 30%, so this will allow us to focus on our customers, help them bring their QNX based platforms to market, and meet their startup production timing. 

Matthew Chandler:
That's great Mike. Thanks so much for sharing an update on the progress that the company’s made over the past 12 months. Now let's get into the demos.

We're here with Jeff Davis, Senior Director for BlackBerry IVY, who is going to tell us a little bit more about this Jaguar I-PACE and the technologies that are in it. 

Jeffrey Davis:
Hey Matt, how's it going? As you know our theme for CES this year is the foundation for the Intelligent Edge. What we want people to be able to do is not just come here and talk about details and about the technology, we want people to actually see how that technology would work. 

To do that we use the Jaguar I-PACE – allowing people to use an augmented reality program and look at the I-PACE to see where BlackBerry QNX is currently working in there – and then see how our latest product BlackBerry IVY could actually work on a common architecture system. As they use the augmented reality device, they then can scroll through, learn about IVY, and see how data is moving through the car in real time. Then they can take a deeper dive on a particular BlackBerry IVY use case with our demo. 

Matthew Chandler:
That sounds great. Thanks Jeff. Let's go take a look.

I'm here with Tarun Shome, Product Management Director for the BlackBerry IVY business unit, and he's going to be showing us a little bit more about this demo we see right here. 

Tarun Shome:
Thanks, Matt. So, we've got BlackBerry IVY here, running on automotive grade hardware. Now as Mattias spoke about earlier, BlackBerry IVY has been co-developed with AWS, but what we're also showing in this particular demo is how we can integrate partners to build synthetic sensors on BlackBerry IVY. 

What IVY does is it takes vehicle signals, and it abstracts those vehicle signals and then allows them to be used to generate insights that can then be provided to applications on or off the vehicle. What we've actually got here is a cluster that's running on QNX and we have an entertainment system that is running on Android™ in a QNX hypervisor.

Then we have BlackBerry IVY, and IVY is actually running and taking data that we gathered from a trip to the beach from Italy to Nice. And all of that data, we've got battery management data, fed up to a synthetic sensor that's been developed by our partner Electra, Electric Vehicles. That allows us to show a very accurate battery state of charge and also to be able to show the range of the vehicle. Range can change depending on who the driver is and what that driver profile is. If they have a heavy right foot, for example, that range will be shortened.

We have a machine learning model running an occupancy identity synthetic sensor, and that has a forward-facing camera. We’re running that here with video that we captured. What it does is show the different driver and occupants of the vehicle, how we can adjust that range, and how Electra Vehicles’ synthetic sensor can show a really accurate range for that driver. 

In this demo with our partner Car IQ, they're able to constantly authenticate the vehicle using sensor data that's coming up through IVY. They have a synthetic sensor that does that and allows the vehicle to be used to make payments such as tolls or parking charges and so on.

What all of this shows is how we can develop that ecosystem where you have partners who are writing synthetic sensors that can be reused over and over again for different applications. That really is very, very powerful when you're trying to build out applications and use cases on your vehicles in terms of scalability and the cost of development. 

Matthew Chandler:
That's great Tarun. Thanks so much. It really helps bring BlackBerry IVY to life. Really appreciate it. 

Tarun Shome:
Thanks Matt.

Matthew Chandler:
We've obviously got a lot going on this year at CES. It's a different type of show. It's a different type of year. For anyone who wants to see the full demo videos, we have those available, so make sure to reach out to your BlackBerry IoT representative. Thanks very much. 

Jeffrey Davis

About Jeffrey Davis

Jeffrey Davis is Senior Director of the BlackBerry IVY Ecosystem at BlackBerry.