As technology evolves in a rapidly changing automotive fleet world, applying the resultant data torrent can be complicated and expensive. IVY gathers a vehicle's ecosystem data into one place and normalising it, allowing development of custom applications – regardless of the vehicle's architecture.

We spoke with Jeff Davis, Senior Director of IVY Ecosystem at BlackBerry, to get more details.

"Vehicle electrification is accelerating, but differentiating yourself and applying technology is probably one of the hardest parts of business today," says Jeff Davis. "IVY solves that problem. It's designed to gather all essentially data into one place and normalise it. It's the hub around which everything else plugs into as needed. That means the information can be used to create what we call 'synthetic sensors', which can do everything from simply aggregating data from multiple sensors to building machine-learning insights from those sensors."

BlackBerry IVY is a scaleable, cloud-based software platform that helps fleets gather detailed information from a connected vehicle, using its full potential. Essentially, IVY sits as a platform above the operating system and reaches down into the sensors and pulls the data up and then makes it useable. Jeff adds that application developers within the OEMs can build applications based on the insights from the car, regardless of its architecture, and the data visibility and fast processing can improve fleet operations while decreasing costs.

Custom development
"The vehicle make and model is no longer an overwhelming issue for the developer," he explains. "You've got a scale you haven't been able to develop on before, and you can do it cheaper and quicker. You can then translate it out to fleets, meaning that OEMs can now build products and services specific to their fleet customers."

Jeff believes electrification is the 'ultimate win' for fleet operators due to reduced maintenance costs, and IVY is perfectly situated to take advantage of the new fleet realities as, by using IVY, an OEM can easily make bespoke features on a 200-vehicle order.

"For example, a fleet manager may want to know specifically where her vehicles are at any time because she may have multiple distribution points, and she can optimise her operations by dynamically redirecting fleets," explains Jeff. "Another fleet manager might have an insurance problem because his fleet drivers may not all be at the same professional level, so he wants insurance monitors on some vehicles to monitor driving behavior. Or, perhaps the fleet manager wants to see energy usage across the fleet so that she can decide when vehicles need to be charged, while maintaining optimum battery life."

Through IVY, vehicle systems can give alerts relating to such items as when to prepare the battery for long-term trickle charging, or when to move a vehicle back into circulation, or take it out of circulation.

"IVY basically allows for applications to be built on top of a platform, “explains Jeff. "Otherwise, if you tried to put all those different elements into various vehicles, it would be complicated and costly because they would be embedding technology in that vehicle. With IVY, the fleet manager can request that software in the vehicles on delivery – instead of getting the vehicles and then thinking afterwards about software to provide specific data, or solve some new issues.

Vehicle security and dynamic mapping
BlackBerry is also working with companies such as AWS, Electra Vehicles Inc, Car IQ, and HERE Technologies allowing for secure in-vehicle payments applications, battery charging, range, and dynamic mapping. Jeff sees a lot of impact happening very quickly with fleet, especially with electrification: "You have to look at fleet operations a bit differently than in the past. You can't have your vehicles out there running and expect that a driver can just stop and get gas. With an electric vehicle, it could be a half-hour or an hour wait, depending on where they have to stop. IVY can be key to optimized fleet operations, and that's without even thinking about all the data that can be pulled from the vehicle, all the things that make people learn about their operations. I'm sure some fleets will find unique ways to utilize that data and use it wisely. And, as new software comes out, or a better ecosystem is developed, the fleet manager can simply request the update software be added to the vehicle."

He believes IVY gives fleets another advantage they've never had, because fleets can hire an application developer and have specific software designed for their vehicles, and keep developing better solutions and innovations to to ongoing challenges.

As Jeff concludes: "If you're operating a fleet, you know one thing – if you can save a penny, you can save a dollar. So I believe that anything that can help save money becomes an ultimate good. I hope that, eventually,  more OEMs in the ecosystem will build these applications, so that fleet providers would then be able to go out to a third party producing things customized to answer specific problems. The fleets that quickly adapt will gain a market advantage because they're not just getting data, they're now getting actionable insights. That's IVY's real promise for the future in fleet."


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