BlackBerry makes inroads in IoT market with telematics device

BlackBerry makes inroads in IoT market with telematics device

BlackBerry makes inroads in IoT market with telematics device
BlackBerry makes inroads in IoT market with telematics device

Caravan Transport Group, a Canadian cross-border transportation carrier, has deployed BlackBerry Radar to improve the use of its fleet.

Launched in mid-July, BlackBerry Radar is said to be an ‘innovative ‘Smart Trailer’ software and hardware solution’ that installs on the door or chassis of a trailer in under 10 minutes.

Caravan will use it to track its assets and to receive real-time data and status reports, such as the location of trailers and cargo.

The data from trailers will be communicated and stored in BlackBerry’s IoT cloud platform to ensure its privacy. Caravan’s fleet operation managers, load planners and dispatchers can then access this information from any device equipped with a web browser (and internet connection) for immediate analysis, decision-making and reporting.

Has BlackBerry produced a solid IoT product?

The deal marks BlackBerry’s first customer win for the Radar solution, and is a nod to its move towards becoming a software company.

In a sound endorsement of the product, John Iwainura, president of the Caravan Group, said: “We have been in the transportation industry for a long time and have yet to see any solution as comprehensive, compact, easy to use and useful as BlackBerry Radar.”

With the acquisition of QNX, the embedded, real-time operating system, the Canadian firm has gained immense expertise and experience to help it build a sophisticated IoT network. Is this a sign that the move is starting to pay off?

Why has BlackBerry moved into the IoT market?

“Taking time, money and guesswork out of the supply chain is a top priority for leaders across the transportation and logistics industry,” said Derek Kuhn, senior vice president of IoT for BlackBerry.

“The current method of obtaining information about a trailer or intermodal container no longer works in today’s connected world, because this data is typically not real-time or updated frequently enough to make timely decisions.”

As Larry Dignan wrote in ZDNet earlier this year, Radar could prove that ‘the company can use its mobile, embedded systems and security know-how to grow in new industries.’

But with a market pool of between three and 12 million trailers in the U.S. alone, according to BlackBerry CEO John Chen, it looks like the firm will need to go beyond this niche market. Perhaps starting small isn’t a bad way to go with a young IoT market, though.