Amazon and Blackberry Collaborate on Next-Gen Smart Cars

Modern touch-screen smartphones may have replaced Blackberry phones, but that doesn’t mean that the brand has gone the way of the dodo. It has simply shifted its focus in an effort to stay relevant in the modern age.

In 2020, Blackberry announced a new collaboration–this time with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Making Smart Cars Smarter

Blackberry and AWS recently joined forces, but they’re not working on the next generation of smartphones. Instead, these two tech giants are combining Blackberry’s computer technology with AWS’s cloud software to create a comprehensive platform for the next incarnation of networked cars. Blackberry is using its QNX real-time operating system in conjunction with Amazon’s IoT service to design a system that will keep modern vehicles connected, to their drivers, and to the manufacturers that created them, all while keeping that information secure.

This sort of networking could become the foundation for several different services, from advanced driver assistance and personalization on the consumer side to battery life monitoring and sub-system management carried out by manufacturers that may become necessary to keep electric vehicles running smoothly.

Working with AWS gives Blackberry more than just access to Amazon’s cloud services. The two companies working together represent a step in the right direction, which could, in turn, lead to an IoT network that will eventually support electric, autonomous, and smart vehicles around the country and the globe.

Why is Amazon Interested in Smart Cars?

This direction might seem strange for a retail giant like Amazon. Why would Amazon be interested in smart cars? The majority of Amazon’s income is still tied to its retail sales and subscriptions, but it has been branching out into other areas. It seems this partnership with Blackberry is the next step in that direction. Retail e-commerce sales require delivery, and while the company currently has a partnership with USPS in the United States, the desire to become more autonomous might explain the sudden interest in smart cars.

With this sort of platform at its fingertips, Amazon could be working towards renewing its delivery vehicles, resulting in various benefits for their business. The creation of an electric and possibly autonomous delivery fleet will potentially help keep up with the ever-growing demand for last-mile deliveries.

Amazon’s penchant for using technology to track productivity and efficiency could be the perfect solution to help Amazon keep up with its delivery quotas without damaging its bottom line.

Looking Forward

Amazon and Blackberry announced their new partnership during January’s CES 2020, so we likely won’t see any fruit from this union for some time yet. Is this a stepping stone Amazon needs to make a move into the automotive industry, or it could be just another way to expand their retail empire?

It’s too early to tell, but one thing is sure — Amazon is making forays into other industries, and this may only be the beginning of their interest in the automotive sector.

Scott Huntington is an automotive writer from central Pennsylvania. Check out his work at Off The Throttle or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

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