BlackBerry Adds Upstream Security to IVY Ecosystem

The deal with Upstream Security brings a layer of cybersecurity to BlackBerry’s new middleware platform that is designed to help ease the transition for OEMs to the software-defined vehicle.

David Zoia, Senior Director-Content

June 27, 2023

4 Min Read
Blackberry IVY home screen
IVY installation on demo Jeep Grand Cherokee with Car IQ and COMPREDICT apps.

BlackBerry continues to expand the ecosystem around its new IVY software, adding Upstream Security to the list of development partners associated with the platform targeted at easing the industry’s transition to the software-defined vehicle.

BlackBerry IVY is a middleware software co-developed with Amazon Web Services that enables edge signal processing onboard the vehicle and cloud-controlled access to vehicle data. With IVY providing the bridge between the car, third-party apps and the cloud, automakers can more easily and cost-effectively deploy new features over the lifetime of the vehicle, BlackBerry contends.

The deal with Upstream Security brings a layer of cybersecurity to IVY. Upstream offers a cloud-native platform that identifies automotive cybersecurity threats and anomalies and provides other operational insights that allow automakers to monitor the health and security of vehicles on the road. Currently, Upstream’s platform is keeping watch over more than 20 million connected vehicles worldwide.

By combining Upstream’s Vehicle Detection and Response software with IVY, automakers will be able to access and pre-process data at the vehicle’s edge to maintain cybersecurity while significantly limiting cloud-connectivity costs, the companies say.

BlackBerry says the ability to process edge data onboard cuts cloud-data storage costs for a variety of apps up to 97%. With the Upstream application, data-connectivity cost savings are expected to reach as high as 80%.

BlackBerry’s first IVY deployment will come in Chinese automaker Dongfeng’s revamped Voyah H97 battery-electric vehicle launching in 2024, but the supplier says it has many more discussions in the works regarding similar applications with other automakers over the next couple of years.

Among the features in the Dongfeng vehicle will be a BEV battery-management app from Elektra Vehicles that helps alleviate range anxiety. It gathers 40-50 key data points around the condition of the vehicle, how the vehicle is being driven, the route being taken and more to coach the driver in ways that can extend the range and delay the need to stop for a recharge. BlackBerry is working with Chinese digital-cockpit supplier PATEO on the Dongfeng application.

IVY is hardware agnostic, and although it is designed to be compatible with and complementary to BlackBerry’s QNX operating system, it also works with Linux-based systems.

Because IVY processes raw data onboard the vehicle in order to lessen reliance on the cloud, vehicles must have the computing bandwidth to accommodate the software. That’s why BlackBerry foresees 2025-2026 as the most likely timeframe for IVY to make serious headway into production vehicles, which will begin to be designed around more powerful, new-generation chipsets from suppliers such as Qualcomm, NXP, NVIDIA and others.

At a recent demo of IVY software aboard a Jeep Grand Cherokee retrofitted with Bosch’s digital cockpit concept, BlackBerry executives showed off how the software works to seamlessly incorporate consumer-facing applications. The Bosch digital-cockpit compute platform is built on a Qualcomm 8195 processor, part of the supplier’s third-generation Snapdragon chip family, and employs the Android Automotive OS operating system and a QNX hypervisor. No production programs have been announced as of yet for the Bosch cockpit.

Jasmin Mulaosmanovic, senior director-product management for BlackBerry QNX, says IVY allows OEMs to integrate new software applications much more quickly, noting the integration of the Bosch system for the Grand Cherokee demo took only a matter of weeks, rather than the year typically required for such a project.

The demo, presented earlier this month at AutoTech: Detroit, a Wards conference and exhibition focused on advanced technology, featured apps from German startup COMPREDICT and U.S.-based Car IQ. The COMPREDICT app can monitor brake and tire condition, predict when maintenance will be needed and even coach the driver to minimize wear and tear and extend tire and brake life. The Car IQ software can suggest the best time and location for refueling and provide a secure way to make in-vehicle payments from within the vehicle for a gasoline purchase or battery charge, or to pay tolls, for example. It also allows automakers to push offers and purchase incentives to drivers and passengers.

Lining up ecosystem partners such as Electra, Car IQ, Upstream and a handful of others allows BlackBerry to offer automakers some plug-and-play options when they equip their vehicles with IVY, but OEMs would have complete control of the software stack, the data and the look of the human-machine interface and easily can bring in apps from other providers as well.

The addition of Upstream to the fold brings the number of IVY-related partners to more than 30 businesses, BlackBerry says, with applications available for OEMs to pick from related to electrification; e-commerce; safety and security; vehicle lifecycle and operations; and in-cabin experience.

About the Author(s)

David Zoia

Senior Director-Content, WardsAuto

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