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CES 2024 and the Automotive Evolution

AUTOMOTIVE / 01.05.24 / Steve Kovsky

Get In: The Software-Defined Vehicle Podcast from BlackBerry (Season 2, Episode 9)

Manufacturers and software makers are unveiling vehicle innovations at an unprecedented rate. And events like the Consumer Electronics Show® (CES) are fast becoming an essential launchpad for the car industry, as vehicles transform into software-defined technology products for 2024 and beyond.

I recently caught up with Niko Hammond, vice president for IVY business development at BlackBerry, for a preview of what’s in store for CES 2024, and the latest trends and capabilities that are creating excitement as we approach this year’s big event.

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 9 of “Get In: The Software-Defined Vehicle Podcast from BlackBerry.” This series explores the possibilities created by — and technologies behind — the revolution in global transportation we are witnessing today. 

Click below to watch the full Season 2, Episode 9 podcast.

BlackBerry IVY Vice President of Business Development Niko Hammond with BlackBerry Senior Editorial Director Steve Kovsky.

Building on Innovation from 2023

Having recently attended both the Japan Mobility Show 2023 to the LA Auto Show this fall, Hammond is in a perfect position to offer an educated guess as to what we will see at CES this year, from forward-looking concept vehicles, to advances in mobility, digital cockpits, and even avionics.

One theme that will be common among all the products is a focus on safety. “As more compute power comes to the vehicle, there's a very strong need to have safe systems,” says Hammond. This is where BlackBerry’s core competencies truly shine, based on its decades of perfecting the QNX® real-time operating system, which the company considers to be the gold standard for safety-certified RTOS offerings.

“The QNX team has been working with a number of OEMs, software suppliers, and partners to help them along the journey,” Hammond adds. This has included the development of safety-critical capabilities spanning the entire vehicle ecosystem, from advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), to cockpit displays, to central controls.

“Security and performance will always be there: Everything from the tactile feel in a vehicle, to the infotainment cluster, to other new features can be added into a car,” says Hammond. “There will always be a core fundamental design principle and how that can be embedded. As you see a switch to electric horsepower, it comes back to having stability within the software foundation and its safety, as well as what you can do to help accelerate development.”

Speeding Up the Software-Defined Evolution

One of the key factors for shortening development cycles and helping OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) get safe products into the market faster lies in cloud integration, according to Hammond. BlackBerry® software has become a key factor helping to speed up the rollout of new software-defined vehicle (SDV) features.

“What the QNX team has done to accelerate bringing the secure RTOS into the cloud has helped shift some of that development earlier,” Hammond elaborates. “Teams can have confidence as they're developing with hardware in a virtual environment. This helps bring products to the market sooner, but also ensures safety features are reliably built in.

“We're working with AWS and others to push the limits on how features become virtualized, but making sure that nothing is compromised for safety in the vehicle.”

Building Trust in Automotive Safety

The public perception of vehicle safety has suffered setbacks due to recent controversies surrounding autonomous vehicle trials and their media representation. It’s up to players like BlackBerry and its partners to help OEMs address those concerns, by ensuring and empowering their adherence to the highest safety standards.

“There must be a balance between how fast the innovation and development go, against the acceptance of what you can do, and consumers feeling safe in the vehicle,” reminds Hammond. The high trust in BlackBerry QNX puts it in a strong position to provide the necessary sense of security.

Software providers must work with customers and partners to ensure that the timing of product rollout for autonomous features is based on the maturity and reliability of the underlying technology. That’s the only way to maintain the trust of consumers, and for the SDV industry to move forward, “Trust is essential," he adds.

Experiencing the Future at CES 2024

Hammond expects CES 2024 to be a bigger showcase of these themes than ever before. “It will be excellent for BlackBerry IoT to show off new technologies,” he says, about the company’s Internet of Things business unit. “We're also showing partner technologies, and partners will be showing BlackBerry QNX and IVY,” the groundbreaking car-to-cloud BlackBerry software platform, developed in partnership with Amazon Web Services.

Technologies on display at BlackBerry’s CES booth will demonstrate the gamut of advanced SDV capabilities. Visitors will be able to experience software-defined systems running in a variety of different vehicles, as well as via interactive demos and displays. “We'll be having a full in-vehicle demo. We'll have other demos with partners where you can see new services and how they can be deployed to the architecture or digital cockpit very fast, while making sure that there is a strong core and foundation with the QNX® Hypervisor. We’re going to see a lot of innovative things there, as well as with our partners including AWS.”

For more information on how BlackBerry is helping build safe and secure data solutions for the software-defined vehicles of tomorrow — and to experience BlackBerry IVY® and QNX powered vehicles in action — please visit us at CES 2024 in Las Vegas, Jan. 9-12. You’ll find the BlackBerry IoT team in the West Hall at Booth #4224.

Live demos of other BlackBerry IVY powered applications will also be showcased in the West Hall at CES, by partners such as Mitsubishi Electric (#3541), MIH (#7216), and Intellias (#7075). And MotorTrend will also announce the recipients of its 2024 SDV Innovator Awards, presented by BlackBerry.

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Steve Kovsky

About Steve Kovsky

Steve Kovsky is former Editorial Director at BlackBerry.