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BlackBerry unveils new security tool at Detroit auto show debut

Its Jarvis software will scan all software components in a vehicle within minutes to predict and fix vulnerabilities.


DETROIT — BlackBerry Ltd. is launching a new security tool for automobile manufacturers, one of the company’s major areas of growth.

Executive chairman John Chen says the new BlackBerry Jarvis will scan all software components in a vehicle within minutes to predict and fix vulnerabilities.

Jarvis will be customized for each manufacturer and sold by BlackBerry on a pay-per-use basis.

The company, based in Waterloo, Ont., didn’t announce what it will charge for Jarvis or how much revenue it is expected to generate for BlackBerry.

Chen has said previously, however, that BlackBerry expects its other new automotive products would start contributing revenue a year or more after hitting the market.

The former smartphone company says Jarvis also has potential for the health care, manufacturing, aerospace and defence industries.

Over the past five years since joining BlackBerry, Chen has gradually reduced its dependence on smartphone sales and repositioned the company formerly known as Research in Motion as an innovator in cybersecurity and software.

Chen sees BlackBerry’s first appearance at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) – one of the global industry’s major annual show-and-tell events – as the next stop on his roadmap for the company.

The company has a lot riding on its BlackBerry QNX division, a formerly independent Ottawa-based software developer that’s made inroads with Ford Motor Co. and automotive suppliers around the world.

The division conducted Canada’s first driverless car trial in October.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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