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BlackBerry Ltd.’s Latest Product Strengthens its Position in the Self-Driving Revolution

On Monday, BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB)(NYSE:BB) announced a new product that would combine cybersecurity with self-driving software. The tech company unveiled Jarvis, which will help protect self-driving vehicles from malicious software. Automakers will be able to scan programs to ensure that files are free of code that could compromise a system and make users vulnerable to ransomware and other cyber attacks.

Jarvis will be available on a pay-as-you go model that will make it easy for automakers to use the software on an as-needed basis. The software has already been tested with Tata Motors Limited, and it created a lot of efficiency when testing code. Previously, the company would need to spend a month evaluating code and determining whether it was safe. Under BlackBerry’s new system, that process would take just seven minutes.

BlackBerry continues to make headway in the world of security

Although the company is still reinventing itself as a cybersecurity brand, it has already achieved some big wins. Last year, BlackBerry won a contract with the National Security Agency (NSA) in the U.S. to be their provider of encrypted tools and devices. Earning the trust of the NSA is no small feat and has helped put the company on the map and build its reputation in the world of cybersecurity.

Although BlackBerry still has a long way to go, with sales down more than 80% in the past three years, its recent performance suggests that it is making good strides in transitioning its business model from that of a cellphone maker to a software and service provider.

Self-driving advancements provide lots of growth for the company

At the forefront of BlackBerry’s growth are the developments in the auto industry. As self-driving technologies continue to evolve, BlackBerry will stand to benefit as more manufacturers opt for its QNX software, which has already gained a lot of popularity in the industry.

Most recently, Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU), which is working on a driverless system called Apollo, chose to integrate BlackBerry’s software into its security component. While the company may no longer be popular in the cellphone industry, BlackBerry is still a brand name that has become synonymous with security and quality software.

A lot of tech companies are vying to be the preferred software provider of choice for self-driving systems, and BlackBerry has an advantage with its strong reputation in the industry. Even when the company was making cell phones, the safety features that made messaging through BlackBerry devices more secure than on other platforms were what made the products so appealing.

Is BlackBerry a good buy today?

BlackBerry’s stock has gone up more than 80% in the past year, and it recently hit a four-year high. However, there could be much more on the way, especially as the company continues to score big deals and as it further develops its QNX software.

There are many good things that the company is doing today, but investors will need to be patient, as self-driving technologies are still likely many years away from becoming mainstream.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. David Gardner owns shares of Baidu. Tom Gardner owns shares of Baidu. The Motley Fool owns shares of Baidu and BlackBerry. Baidu and BlackBerry are recommendations of Stock Advisor Canada.

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