BlackBerry Expands into M2M Software Updates for Car Manufacturers

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BlackBerry is showing off a new solution for automakers that lets them manage and deliver "Over the air" (OTA) software updates to road vehicles.

Leveraging BlackBerry's existing infrastructure, which today delivers software updates to BlackBerry devices around the world, the Software Update Management for Automotive service facilitates machine-to-machine (M2M) communication directly between the automaker and the vehicle, allowing the automaker to easily provide software updates to vehicles in the field.

Vehicles have more computing power than ever before with complex environments equipped with dozens of electronic control units (ECUs) as well as sophisticated in-vehicle infotainment systems that can provide everything from 3D navigation to smartphone connectivity.

"According to a study Gartner did with U.S. vehicle owners in 2012, 40 percent of all U.S. vehicle owners either 'definitely want to get' or at least are 'likely to get' the ability for wireless software updates in their next new vehicle - making it the third most demanded automotive-centric Web application and function," said Thilo Koslowski, Vice President, Distinguished Analyst, Gartner.

Through BlackBerry's OTA service, automakers can deliver a number of new capabilities to customers, including software updates, new applications, and the ability to get the status of functional systems in a vehicle.

The development of OTA services is part of BlackBerry's broader mobile computing strategy.

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