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Get In: The Connected Vehicle Podcast From BlackBerry (Episode 5)

Driving on the Edge With Verizon

We all need someone to talk to. As it turns out, so do our cars.

As our automobiles become smarter, more capable and configurable, they will rely increasingly on connectivity to meet the needs of drivers and passengers. This connectivity will provide critical links between our vehicles and cloud-based information and services; “smart infrastructure” like buildings, businesses and roadways; as well as other cars. How this burgeoning demand for vehicle-to-everything (aka, “V2X”) communication is evolving is a story unto itself.

Welcome to the fifth episode of “Get In: The Connected Vehicle Podcast from BlackBerry.” This series explores the possibilities created by -- and technologies behind -- the revolution in global transportation we are witnessing today. In this episode, we meet Erik Varney, Managing Director, Telematics, at Verizon Business, one of the largest wireless carriers in the U.S. and a leading innovator in telecommunications across a comprehensive portfolio of devices–including connected vehicles.

Click below to listen/watch the full Episode 5 podcast. Additional episodes can be found here
 

Varney’s journey with automobiles started in 1981 with a Toyota Celica that lacked even air conditioning. Since then, cars have transformed from machines that took us from points A to B without much integrated technology, to becoming a central part of their owners’ life experience. In the future, Varney predicts that this relationship may revolve around the car itself doing the driving. “When you think 15 years in the future, I think of shows like Minority Report where driving was a thing of the past,” says Varney. “You get in the vehicle, and it takes you where you want to go, because it's intelligent enough to know what you're doing and what you want to get done. That's really where the future of transportation's going to be.”

However, this isn’t just about greater convenience for the vehicle owner, but also about the increased safety autonomous vehicles could provide. Connectivity will play a key role, giving companies like Verizon central importance. “Connectivity becomes like oxygen,” says Varney. “We have to be able to deliver content at the point of need. When you're driving a car, you don't have a lot of excuses for having a slow network. You've got to have a network that's capable of pushing data at the point of need.

“When you're going 70 miles an hour and it takes 10 to 20 milliseconds longer to deliver that same information, that can mean anywhere between feet and yards of extra stopping space for that vehicle,” continues Varney. “All these things build into a cohesive strategy that Verizon is excited to have, in delivering some of these next generation solutions for cars today.”

The concept of edge computing plays an important role in this. The computing power in today’s cars, which exist at the edge of large data networks, far exceeds the data-handling capability in smartphones. In either case, these modern edge devices are now more powerful than the systems that put men on the moon a few short decades ago. With automobiles, the importance of being able to collect and process quickly at the edge cannot be overstated. “I need to be able to make better decisions about the environment I'm in,” says Varney. For example, ABS (antilock braking systems) “can't wait two or three, or maybe even 30 milliseconds to find out what you need to do, because it's a matter of life or death at that point.”

Once a car becomes an edge device connected to a central system, it can augment its onboard capabilities with environmental information it ingests from the network – such as awareness that road conditions ahead are snowy or icy, insights that might be gleaned from sensor data collected by other connected vehicles already out on the roads. “The future of what we're doing is being able to make the information that's relevant secure and anonymous enough that we're not oversharing everybody's information,” says Varney, “but rich enough that we can then make intelligent decisions at the car level, rather than trying to have a human making all those decisions on their own.”

Thanks in large part to the advanced networks that telecom leaders like Verizon are busy deploying worldwide, “We're going to have that information right there available where the car needs it, rather than sitting in a cloud somewhere else that no one else can easily access in a timely fashion.”

As Varney acknowledges, realizing the full promise of connected vehicles requires bringing together the expertise needed from various disciplines. “That is something that we're teaming with BlackBerry very closely to do,” says Varney. “It was interesting talking with a luxury car maker just last week about their specific vehicles. There are over 1,600 chips in these vehicles that they're deploying today, for anything from the lumbar support to the audio ‘head unit.’ They are trying to simplify it a little bit more for the manufacturing process.”

Solving challenges related to integrating disparate functions and systems within the vehicle is something that the BlackBerry® QNX® operating system is uniquely equipped to do. As safety-critical automotive functions begin sharing hardware and code with other in-car systems – such as infotainment features – manufacturers may rely increasingly on systems such as QNX to keep those independent data sources separate and secure, allowing them to continue delivering a convenient user experience, but balanced between reliability and user-friendly features. Failure in such cases can be catastrophic. “You really can't ‘blue-screen-of-death’ a car while you're driving down the road at 70 miles an hour,” warns Varney.  

Another important connectivity feature that has moved to the forefront of automotive design is the ability to continuously upgrade and update vehicles remotely. Unlike cars of the past, “Now you have vehicles that are not so hardware-specific. You've got industry leaders like Tesla and Rivian that have created these ‘software-defined vehicles.’ They have a basic chassis in place that can accept upgrades.”

That simple-sounding concept is far from simple to achieve, and its implications are enormous. “Much the same as we've come to know and love with our smartphones and home computers, they can introduce new features and capabilities in that vehicle to refresh it,” continues Varney. “There's a huge shift in reliability. A typical gas vehicle is going to have about 250,000 miles on it – if you're lucky – before it's completely worn out.” However, next-generation electric vehicles have the potential to completely change that paradigm. “They will be on the road for 10-plus years and a million miles or more, because there are fewer parts to wear out. You've got to build a product as an automaker that people are going to love, but continue to love over time, as it evolves and really starts to do some interesting things,” Varney says, and he’s betting on Verizon’s networks to supply the reliable and secure connectivity to deliver these feature updates, wherever a car might be.

“We're talking about 5G today,” says Varney. “The good news is our Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network is an extremely strong foundation that already exists across 94 percent of the contiguous U.S. We have that foundation in place,” which provides an excellent basis for delivering the levels of connectivity that next-gen vehicles will require. “We're trying to make sure that when your vehicle needs to be updated, there is a network available that's secure. But it's also fast and robust enough to ensure that when you have 400 vehicles all parked in the same area at the same time—it can handle that usage.”

The need for “universal, ubiquitous connectivity is so critical that Verizon is playing an integral key role in making sure it happens,” says Varney. However, security remains a paramount concern, which represents another area where BlackBerry’s partnership is key. “When you have software-defined vehicles, there's a lot of information that's getting generated about you, and about where you're going and what you're doing. That's not really anything you want to be shared, unless you make it so,” states Varney. “With BlackBerry, we're extremely excited about the security capabilities. Verizon and BlackBerry have teamed up on a number of initiatives to ensure the data that you're generating on a daily basis is kept secure, within the walls that you define.”

As the connected vehicle develops, transportation will become what Varney calls a “consumable event.” His vision of such an event paints a disarmingly clear picture of simplicity and convenience for the consumer, yet bringing it to fruition will demand seamless, innovative and highly advanced integration of numerous complex technologies on the part of the carmaker and its partners. 

“With the next-generation rental car, I won't go to the rental car lot. I will get off my plane, hit a button on my phone in the app, and walk to the curb, where the car drives to me autonomously. I then take control of the vehicle and drive off. I can have a mix of autonomous driving or self-driving if I want,” explains Varney. “When I leave, I go back to the airport, and at the drop-off curb, get out of the vehicle, take out my luggage and say, ‘I'm done.’ Then my car drives back to the rental lot on its own, to be fueled and cleaned for the next driver.”

There are many novel transportation concepts like this down the road, “but they all take data and they're all going to take connectivity,” says Varney. “Some really exciting things are coming out, especially towards the end of this year and the start of next year, where we're pushing forward in the autonomous space, as well as in the connected vehicle space, to really make that next-generation user experience a reality.”

It’s going to be a very exciting future for connected vehicles, and it may arrive sooner than you might think. To hear more, listen to Episode 5 of “Get In: The Connected Vehicle Podcast From BlackBerry.”

Listen to Episode 5 of “Get In: The Connected Vehicle Podcast from BlackBerry.
 


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Podcast Transcript

Steve Kovsky:
Hi, welcome to Get In: The Connected Vehicle Podcast from BlackBerry, I'm your host, Steve Kovsky. Within this series we'll be diving into what the future of transportation just might look like. Today I'm joined by Erik Varney, from Verizon, Erik, so happy to have you with us. I wonder if you would introduce yourself to our audience.

Erik Varney:
Absolutely Steve, thanks for the opportunity to be here today. As Steve said, I work for Verizon Wireless. I've been with Verizon just over 18 years. I think I have one of the coolest jobs in the company quite frankly, as I'm now the managing director of all of our technology efforts when it comes to our vehicle telematics and platforms capacities within Verizon. Basically, that means I get to deal with all the new stuff. I get to look at all of the new technologies and the capabilities, and especially where Verizon is integrating our next generation, fifth generation (5G) networks that are out there with these self-driving cars and autonomous vehicles and everything else that you see out there because you need connectivity. And Verizon is extremely happy and excited to offer that as we go into these next generation technologies and solutions.

Steve Kovsky:
We kind of wanted to start out with your personal experience with cars, how did they change your life when you got behind the wheel?

Erik Varney:
You mean my 1982 Toyota Celica that I jokingly said that didn't even have A/C? My air conditioning was what I called a three by 60, meaning that you opened up the sunroof and the two windows and drove 60 miles an hour and that was the air conditioning. And that was the advent of technology really, (there wasn't technology in that car). The most technology there was the new stereo I put in with the nice speakers because I had to be cool listening to Van Halen in the car, but there wasn't much technology to be had. It was four wheels that got you from place to place in a comfortable fashion and got you where you needed to be.

America has a love affair with cars. There are classic vehicles all the way up to the next generation of electric and self-driving vehicles out there today. It's been an interesting kind of growth sequence, especially for people from my generation because we're trying to figure out exactly, “Hey, how does a car fit into my life?” Rather than the other way around, where it used to be, “Oh, it was just my transportation that got me from point A to point B.” Now people are actually worried about the experience they have when in that car. I know that’s what we want to talk a little bit more about today.

Steve Kovsky:
All right, taking that experience if we fast forward 15 years from now what does the future look like? What are the future trends that are going to be the biggest change on how we get from place to place?

Erik Varney:
When you look at the technology that now sits in your garage, it is a complete market difference from my little Toyota Celica from 1982. You've got a piece of technology now that can basically drive itself safely and securely from point to point. And it's now a matter of us catching up technology-wise. And when you think 15 years in the future, I think of shows like Minority Report where driving was a thing of the past. You've seen where basically you get in the vehicle, whatever it might be, if it’s a bus or a train or a car, and it takes you where you want to go, because it's intelligent enough to know what you're doing and what you want to get done.

And that's really where the future of transportation’s going to be, not just for the convenience factor, but also the safety factor. We want to make sure that people get where they’re supposed to go, that we get road deaths down to that acceptable level – if any deaths are acceptable – but really understanding what we can do and how we can go forward with technology and implementing it into our lives and really giving us that real security and solutions that we’re looking for down the road.

Steve Kovsky:
How has Verizon thought about transportation previously and how’s that changing now to make this future a reality?

Erik Varney:
Great question. And that's really looking at the detail of, of when we break that down, it’s so much more than connectivity. Especially in the Verizon Wireless sense. When we look at the network itself, connectivity now just becomes like oxygen, right? I just need to have connectivity. A lot of people don't think into all of the other elemental pieces behind it, that brings you so much power and capacity in connectivity as a whole, because it’s not just getting your data, that everybody's used to, the great example I like to use is I watch television and I still remember trying to figure out how to set the VCR because I went and looked at a paper TV guide – heaven forbid – to know if I wanted to record a show to watch it later on my VCR. 

Now my son, as an example, he consumes content. He's got Netflix, he's got Amazon, you've got all these different ways. He doesn't watch what’s on TV. He decides what’s on TV. And in that same sense, we now have to be able to deliver, when we're talking about Verizon as a whole, we have to be able to deliver content at the point of need and the point of demand. There's much more in the network itself that we're delivering, not only that fifth-generation network, because we talked about at the start where we have these next generation solutions that can push gigabytes of traffic in milliseconds of time, but also being able to have a network that is flexible and capable enough to be able to ensure that it's delivering data. Because when you're driving a car, you don't have a lot of excuses for having a slow network. You've got to have a network that's capable of pushing data at what I call the point of need.

What's really intriguing about all this is that Verizon has built a network and is continuing to innovate in this space to deliver data, but also information in a very prompt amount of time. You'll hear a lot about what we call our multi-accessed compute, which is our cloud computing capability, where we partner with people like Microsoft and Amazon all the way down to network slicing, which is delivering information in a very robust way to ensure that that data gets there for that vehicle. Because again, when you're going 70 miles an hour and I take 10 to 20 milliseconds longer to deliver that same information that can mean anywhere between feet and yards of extra stopping space for that vehicle.

All of these things now build into a cohesive strategy that Verizon is excited to have in delivering some of the next generation solutions for cars today. So when 15 years from now, it will be just a thing of the past. “Oh yeah, that's how I used to drive my car. Honey, remember? That was awesome.” That's where we're actually looking to go now and help deliver solutions today that will be able to really see that future down the road.

Steve Kovsky:
Tell me a little bit about the Edge. Where is the edge now, it sounds like that's going to be moving, but right now you don't want to talk to the cloud to find out if your ABS brakes should deploy, right? That's still far in the future. Where are we now? And what is this concept of edge? 

Erik Varney:
Great point in questioning that because the edge is moving ever closer to where we are. Now, taking us back on that technology roadmap that we all were thinking about, when I first started in information technology, in doing technology back in paging days, I had an AS400 PC green screen terminal sitting on my desk. That was what we called the mainframe world; where we had all the information that sat in main systems and were pushed down and just in a presentation on a screen to you, then we went and I still remember being excited when I got my first PC that sat there on my desk that still had the AS400 benefits of all the capabilities behind it, but also had some local processing power. Fast forward to the smartphone of today, where you're carrying a device in your pocket that has more power and capacity than what it took to get the Apollo 11 astronauts on the moon.

On top of that, what's important is saying, okay, if I can have that kind of capability and processing power in a small little chip that I can put inside my vehicle, I also need to be able to make better decisions about the environment I'm in. You used a great example of ABS braking systems. They need to be able to make decisions right there, on the spot. You can't wait two or three, or even 30 milliseconds to find out what you need to do because it's a matter of life or death at that point. What we need to do is be able to take that information, it can be shared anonymously and autonomously across networks, for when there are situations.

What I like to look at as an example, is we got some snow up here in the mountains of Utah just this week. I would love to know, instead of turning on the news in the morning, that my car would know how it needs to drive in those snowy conditions because of the feedback it's getting from other vehicles on the road. And that's the future of what we're doing – being able to take information that's relevant, but again secure and anonymous enough that we're not oversharing about everybody's information, but enough so that we can then make intelligent decisions at the PC and at the device and car level, rather than trying to have a human making all those decisions on our own.

That's why we have technology, to make those things better. We're pushing that edge ever closer to us, and that will continue to grow as Verizon has that capability in our capabilities that we're doing for that edge compute. As we talked about before, where now we're going to have that information right there available where the car needs it rather than sitting in a cloud somewhere and no one else can easily access it in a timely amount of time.

Steve Kovsky:
In terms of what the car companies, how they view this, what are their needs? How are you working with auto makers to make this future possible?

Erik Varney:
Great and thankfully again, being here with you today on the BlackBerry platform side, is something that we're teaming with BlackBerry very closely to do because they're much in a quandary, they're in the old manufacturing, mantras, and capabilities. We've seen this. In fact, it was interesting talking with a luxury car maker just last week about their specific vehicles. He shared with us that there are over 1,600 chips in the vehicles they're deploying today for anything from the lumbar support to the head unit in the car where your auto audio entertainment is coming from, there's so much technology that's going on. And they're trying to tackle this challenge of now making this huge computer on wheels, is basically what they've created and trying to simplify it a little bit more for the manufacturing process.

They're wanting to increase, because the user experience in that vehicle, as we come to expect with our smartphones, that we carry around with us today, and making that experience in the vehicle where I have the customization, but they're most concerned about is then making sure it's secure, making sure that that data stays where it's supposed to stay. And that it can't be used nefariously by third parties in any way, shape or form, but then also making sure that there's convenience there and there's a good user experience there. And they're trying to balance all of that with the technology side and also the reliability and capability side. Because again, I was reminded by this same gentleman last week, you really can't blue screen of death a car while you're driving down the road at 70 miles an hour, it gets a little bit rough there, so you've got to make sure the reliability is there.

Steve Kovsky:
Yeah absolutely. Safety has to be number one, but they've got a lot of integration work to do. It brings up the concept of the software defined vehicle, because that is really going to be a major enabler. In addition, what are some of those enablers that need to develop before we can reach this autonomous future of driving?

Erik Varney:
That concept of the software-defined vehicle is a really intriguing concept just because of the challenges that it presents, because now you have vehicles that are not so hardware specific. Whereas I remember getting the Chilton manual for that aforementioned 1982 Celica that I had. I had a 350 page manual that told me how to do everything in the car. From changing the brakes and bleeding the brakes to rewiring the taillights in the vehicle. I could do everything with that 300 page manual. Good luck doing that today with a car. What you're seeing this interesting change that's having to be is that especially you've got industry leaders like Tesla and Rivian that are out there today, they have created this software defined vehicle, chassis, and base band of vehicles. Now you have the ability to say, okay, I have this functionality today, but I want to be able to do more things down the road.

They have that basic chassis that's now in place that can accept upgrades. Much the same like we've come to know and again, love with our smartphones and with our home PCs and computers, they can introduce new features and capabilities in that vehicle to refresh it because the interesting thing about the vehicle is now, is there's a huge shift in reliability. My 1982 Celica wore out. A typical gas vehicle is going to have about 250,000 miles if you're lucky on it before it's completely worn out. And certain components of the vehicle have to be completely changed out and it becomes unattainable to upgrade the vehicle. Whereas when you look at these next generation electric vehicles that are coming out, they're talking about vehicles, that'll be on the road for 10 plus years and a million miles or more because there less parts to wear out.

You've got to build a product as an automaker that people are going to love but continue to love over time that can evolve and really start to do some interesting things. That's where Verizon's extremely involved in knowing that you've got to have connectivity to that vehicle because you can't guarantee that it's always going to be on your home Wi-Fi. What if a critical upgrade for the braking system, as you talked about the ABS braking system earlier, comes out, you don't want to wait until you can get into a hotspot somewhere. You want to make sure when you've got critical updates like that, that you have reliable connectivity to that's available to the vehicle. And that's where Verizon comes in from that connectivity standpoint, to ensure that it's secure, but it's also fast and reliable, nationwide and globally.

Steve Kovsky:
What are some of the hurdles that we're facing? You mentioned hotspots, obviously having universal coverage is something that Verizon works really hard on. What are some of the challenges that you're facing?

Erik Varney:
Some of those challenges, is building that strong foundation. The good news is, is that Verizon already has our extremely strong foundation of network technologies. And we're talking about 5G today, the good news is our Long-Term Evolution network, our LTE is an extremely strong foundation that already exists across 94% of the contiguous U.S. So, we have that foundation in place, but as what's happening is that the typical use case and scenarios of the everyday consumer is pushing that envelope of connectivity. It's always faster, better, stronger, right? Oh, I want more data, I want it now. I want to be able to see it when I want to see it. One of my running jokes is we get frustrated when we have more than two people ahead of us in the grocery store line to check out.

With the advent of self-checkout lines, we've become increasingly impatient with just waiting for normal things to happen. Because of that, Verizon is trying to stay ahead. From a connectivity standpoint, we're trying to make sure that when you want the data or when you need the data, when your vehicle or whatever else it is that you're utilizing needs to be updated, that there is a network available that's secure, but it's also fast enough to handle and robust enough to ensure that when you have 400 vehicles all parked in the same area at the same time that you've got the network that has the capacity and the bandwidth both to be able to handle that usage that you may need, especially to make sure the kids in the backseat are able to watch their Disney Plus anytime they want, is just as important as making sure that your braking system is updated. 

That interesting mix between the benefits of technology versus the complexity of use, I love that example of just turning on your windshield wipers and making it so they run less. It used to be a little tiny switch on the right arm of the steering column. Now it's buried three levels deep and the good thing is that's all software. That can be easily modified, easily updated. That's the neat thing that you're going to see with these next generation vehicles is that that user experience is going to get better and better and better because we have immediate feedback. Instead of here's your car, this is exactly what you're going to get because this is the feature set that you bought at the store or at the dealership, will continue to evolve with the user.

And the user experience will continue to increase and get better. But again, you must have connectivity for that. You've got to make sure that those updates can be pushed when you want them, how you want them instead of waiting until you can get home to charge. Oh, then I've got my home broadband I can use. And some people don't want to wait two, three or four days for them to get to where they can get connectivity. That universal ubiquitous connectivity is so critical that Verizon is playing an integral key role in making sure it happens.

Steve Kovsky:
Right now consumers don't care that much about the security of their vehicles because they don't recognize that there's a potential threat there. Perhaps that will come about but in your conversations with automakers and Verizon is very much a security company, it's in their DNA, just like with BlackBerry, how do you see this evolution of securing the car of the future?

Erik Varney:
That's a great question because it only takes once. It only takes one time of some breach of customer information and that trust is lost and that trust is critical. As you mentioned with BlackBerry, we're extremely excited from that security capabilities. There's a very fine line in that same consumer that you mentioned of how much information they're willing to share, but how much of their information then is shared. That's a little bit of a quandary there because what you've got to do is, people want to know, as we joked about earlier, the lumbar support, am I going to be really that bothered that my wife's lumbar support gets put in the vehicle versus mine? I just have to hit a button and that does it. But are you going to be worried when all your personal information on your driving habits shows up on a website? 

Yeah. You'd care. That's where Verizon and BlackBerry have teamed up on a number of initiatives to ensure that data you're generating on a daily basis is kept secure within the walls that you define. And that the consumer defines that's really, really important, but more importantly, that that data stays where it's supposed to. When you have software driving vehicles, there's a lot of information that's getting generated about you and about where you're going and what you're doing. That's not really anything you want to be shared – unless you make it so.

That's where Verizon's taking some very bold steps forward in ensuring that we work with platform providers and security providers just like BlackBerry to ensure data goes where it's supposed to go when you want it to go there, rather than when an advertiser wants to pay for it. And that's going to be very critical as you look forward into these next-generation solutions to ensure that your information is kept within the bounds that you want set, not what some advertiser is wanting down the road.

Steve Kovsky:
Well, it gives me confidence, Erik, to know that people like you are on the job that you're thinking about that now, that you're putting in that infrastructure that we're going to need for the future. With everything that you've talked about, it's going to change the way the general public interacts with transportation. What do you think are going to be some of the biggest changes that are going to come from all of this and how far reaching is it going to be?

Erik Varney:
That's a really interesting thought Steve. When we look at public transportation, we look at transportation as a whole. It's something that gets us from point A to point B today. We see it as a necessary evil that we do. As we've looked at just the events of the last 10 years and to think about what's going to happen in the next 10, it's going to be much more where it becomes a consumable event. I remember when I first started traveling for business, I was printing MapQuest maps in reverse form on my printer because I learned a cool life hack that I could stick it up on my dash of my rental car, and look in the reflection and see my driving directions to go where I needed to go. It was my own, my own paper heads-up display.

Now I can get off the plane and by the time I walk to the curb, my Uber or my Lyft car is there and they're taking me to where I want to go. And it's somebody I've never met before, but I have trust in them because it's a platform that I have equal trust in. That they're a five star driver because I'm a five star passenger that I'm going to have a good experience and going to get me to where I want to go. Think about that when autonomy is brought into the sequence, where again we are working with a number of providers where the next generation rental car, which is, I don't go to the rental car lot. I get off my plane, I hit a button, I click a button on my phone, in the app and I walk up to the curb and the car drives to me autonomously.

I then take control of the vehicle and drive off. I can have a mix of autonomous driving or self-driving if I want. And then when I leave to drive home, I go back to the airport at the drop off curb, get out of the vehicle, take out my luggage and say, I'm done. And my rental closes and the car drives back to the rental car lot on its own to be fueled and cleaned for the next driver. That's the future that's happening right now.

Those are the technologies and ideas that we're working on as a company right now. To think about where the next generation of solutions from tunneling under our cities to move people quicker, without traffic congestion to drones and the possible vertical takeoff and landing type vehicles down the road as well. There's some really interesting things, but they all take data and they're all going to take connectivity. And they're all going to take that time to make sure that they're interacting with each other safely and securely. It gets really exciting to think about when I think about how I'm going to get off on my next business trip in the next 10 or 15 years and what that experience will be.

Steve Kovsky:
Is there anything else that we haven't touched on in this podcast that our audience really needs to know. Something you really want to get out there to both consumers and automakers?

Erik Varney:
No, I just say stay tuned, watch close. Some really exciting things are coming out, especially that you'll see the end of this year, start of next year, where we're really pushing forward in the autonomous space, as well as in that connected vehicle space to really make that next generation user experience a reality. And really start to do, because we all have a social responsibility and I always like to end with that, Steve. Because again, we have limited resources on this earth. I want to be very careful about that and Verizon has a very strong corporate governance around ensuring that what we're doing, we're delivering without harming the planet and not destroying this resource that we have, that we're all upon.

That's something that's very important that I always want to talk about. Yes, technology's great. Yes, all these things are great. If we don't have a clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, who really cares if my car can drive itself? There's a lot of social responsibility and sustainability that Verizon's paying extremely close attention to in this space that we're making sure that as we deliver next generation solutions, that we're also delivering them in a eco-friendly way to ensure that we're not harming the environment while we're doing so.

Steve Kovsky:
I'm so glad that you brought that up. And that is one of the trends that all of this work that you're doing that BlackBerry and its other partners are doing, is helping fuel, if you will, this transition to electric vehicles to cleaner ways to move ourselves around. And that's a great bonus that all of this inflection of technology is giving us. I want to thank you very much for spending this time with us and for the work that you're doing. And I'm looking forward to future conversations to see how we're making this transition and the role that Verizon is playing in it.

Erik Varney:
Absolutely. Steve, thank you again for the time. I appreciate it.

Steve Kovsky:
Well, that's the end of our episode for today, but if you'd like to get more information on the topics or our guest check out BlackBerry.com/podcast. Get In: The Connected Vehicle Podcast from BlackBerry is available wherever you get your podcast. And don't forget to subscribe to keep up to date with our latest episodes.

 

Steve Kovsky

About Steve Kovsky

Steve Kovsky is Editorial Director at BlackBerry.