BlackBerry has unveiled a new product called Radar at the 2016 Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS), taking place at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, further signaling the company’s move into the mobile asset tracking Internet of Things market.
BlackBerry Radar is billed as a secure end-to-end tracking system designed to help trucking companies and private fleet operators optimize asset utilization, reduce theft, and cut operational costs.
Now a member of the National Private Truck Council, a U.S. trade association devoted to the interests of the private corporate trucking fleet industry and its professional practitioners, BlackBerry has been allowing select trucking companies and private fleet operators to participate in a customer pilot program for BlackBerry Radar, which the company anticipates will be generally available in summer 2016.
Using BlackBerry Radar, a trucking company manager can monitor the location of trailers and containers via a secure, online portal, accessible on any smartphone, tablet or computer, allowing them to optimize asset usage while improving delivery times and generating more revenue per trailer.
“BlackBerry Radar is fully integrated and provisioned, so customers can hit the ground running. Within minutes of installing our tracking device, users can access timely information on their assets to help make agile decisions that can dramatically improve an organization’s profitability,” said BlackBerry IoT Senior Vice President Derek Kuhn. “And because BlackBerry Radar is cloud-based, it offers the ultimate in convenience. All you need is a smartphone, tablet, or computer equipped with a web browser, and you can access information for real-time decision-making — wherever you are, and whenever you need it.”
The Radar platform can send real-time alerts letting a manager know when a truck has crossed a user-defined geofence or when a trailer door has opened or closed, as well as monitoring temperature, humidity and the presence of cargo inside the trucking container.
Radar also capitalizes on BlackBerry’s reputation for security, encrypting all transmitted data while authenticating the device and cloud endpoints to ensure a high level of security and privacy between users and the service, and also managing permissions, allowing other participants in the supply chain access to relevant data.
Last November, Sandeep Chennakeshu, President of BlackBerry Technology Solutions, hinted at BlackBerry’s next major play in the Internet of Things market, a 200 mm weatherproof high-value asset tracking box with an IP67 certification and a five-year battery life.
“The expansion of IoT solutions is a key catalyst in the current transformation of the global freight shipping market, the importance of which has not been seen since the worldwide embrace of intermodal containers. The ever-improving capabilities and costs of connected sensor systems have made tracking the precise location of assets, real-time monitoring of their detailed physical condition, and associated data analytics the basis of a new gold standard for the industry. BlackBerry Radar’s cloud platform and innovative tracking device support these needs with a global end-to-end solution that leverages BlackBerry’s market-leading security, low-power solutions, and knowledge of cloud-based platforms,” said Machina Research Principal Analyst Andy Castonguay. “From a user standpoint, the end-to-end service design critically removes much of the complexity associated with the implementation and usage of IoT solutions that are common in today’s market.”
Cormark analyst Richard Tse, referring to a presentation he saw at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, told Cantech Letter, “Based on a presentation by BlackBerry’s President of BlackBerry Technology Solutions, Sandeep Chennakeshu, it appears there’s more movement on this initiative that was originally presented in a similar forum at last year’s CES. While it’s still early, it appears BlackBerry has been able to sign on a number of large trials with potential transportation/logistics customers for its end-to-end proprietary tracking solution that would work globally.”
The BlackBerry Radar announcement comes one day before the Waterloo tech giant publishes its much anticipated Q4 2015 results, which may go some way to determining the company’s future direction depending on the health of BlackBerry Priv sales and its overall revenue picture.
BlackBerry will be demonstrating the BlackBerry Radar Asset Tracking System for the rest of the week at the Mid-America Trucking Show, North Wing, Booth 16228.