BlackBerry Ltd said on Tuesday its turnaround gained traction as sales get a boost in the last quarter in its key software departments. BlackBerry Ltd is working with at least two automakers to develop a security service that would remotely scan vehicles for computer viruses and tell drivers to pull over if they were in critical danger, according to a financial analyst.
Instaling security patches to an idling car is one of the intentions behind this service and is being tested by automakers suck as Aston Martin and Range Rover, according to the client-directed notes of Macquarie analyst Gus Papageorgiou.
Among several areas that BlackBerry is betting will boost its revenue is the automobile security as car makers want to be ready for the moment technology catches up and not be caught off guard by the competition. Blackberry actually lost their dominance in the smartphone branch to their competition, Apple, Samsung and others over the past decade. Even Chinese manufacturers have grabbed a big chunk of the market with brands such as Huawei becoming increasingly popular.
Meanwhile, securing the auto industry from hackers and malware might just be Blackberry’s golden goose at the moment. John Wall, the head of BlackBerry’s QNX division, and company spokeswoman Sarah McKinney both declined to comment on that. A spokesman for Aston Martin, said in an email he was not aware of the company testing such a product at the moment. Representatives with Range Rover’s parent company, Jaguar Land Rover, could not be reached for comment.
The service could be launched as early as next year, generating about $10 a month per vehicle for BlackBerry, according to Papageorgiou, who has followed BlackBerry for more than 15 years. Vehicles increasingly rely on dozens of computers that connect to each other as well as the internet, mobile networks and Bluetooth communications systems that make them vulnerable to remote hacks.
Recent breach and hacking scandals in the security community have prompted automakers to invest early and invest more in cyber security. Especially after wo hacking experts uncovered vulnerabilities in Fiat Chrysler vehicles that led to a U.S. recall of 1.4 million autos. As it stands, a big portion of the market would probably not even consider buying smart vehicles until security is bulletproof so to speak. Shares rose 5.3 percent for the Canadian Blackberry – at C$13.84 after touching C$14.15, the highest they’d touched since March of 2015, which should tell you enough.