In case you haven’t noticed, BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) stock hasn’t really been a hot commodity in recent years. And it’s not really a surprise. If a company’s share price goes from $230.52 to $7.28, it’s not exactly a good sign. So, should you delete BBRY stock from your watch list?
Most definitely not.
This Could Be Big for BBRY Stock
Before I tell you why, let’s turn to a slightly hotter commodity—Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Tesla’s newest update equips its electric cars with “Autopilot” features. Autopilot can process road and traffic information to determine the vehicle’s behavior. There is a video of Tesla’s “Autosteer” and “Auto Lane Change” features in action.
Note that when in Autopilot, the computer is doing all the steering, braking, and acceleration. Cool stuff, right?
Now imagine some evil individual (or a group of them) decides to hack into Tesla’s system. Instead of being controlled by Elon Musk’s smart algorithm, your Tesla is going to do whatever the hacker wants it to do. Moreover, because Teslas have quite a few cameras, hackers can see whatever you see. So effectively, hackers could take control of your Tesla. Need I say more?
But wait, aren’t we supposed to be talking about BlackBerry? Why am I saying negative things about your idol’s creation of self-driving cars?
Okay, just to clarify, I am not saying that Tesla’s Autopilot is not a great feature and I dare not question Elon Musk’s brilliance. All I’m saying is that self-driving cars need to be secure. And when it comes to cyber security, few companies can match BlackBerry.
BlackBerry’s device management business needs little introduction. For many companies in regulated industries, BlackBerry is the go-to choice when it comes to mobile security. This time, it’s the autonomous car industry that’s going to give BlackBerry a big boost.
The company announced last month that it’s going to get involved with driverless cars. In particular, BlackBerry’s QNX Software Systems division is going to build software to power autonomous cars. (Source: “CES 2016 Video: How QNX Paves the Way to an Autonomous Driving Future,” BlackBerry Blog, January 7, 2016.)
What will be BlackBerry’s advantage in this? Well, first off, at BlackBerry, QNX is known for its robust security features. The company’s QNX OS for security is powering aerospace, defense, and security systems that need to meet the stringent security requirements of mission-critical applications.
As I have illustrated above, security is going to be crucial for a self-driving car’s software. BlackBerry’s QNX software might be the way to go.
It also helps that BlackBerry is already powering infotainment systems in a lot of vehicles. And I do mean a lot.
According to the company’s CEO, John Chen, BlackBerry’s software for in-car navigation and entertainment systems is used in more than 60 million vehicles. The company has built long-standing relationships with auto manufacturers. If car companies also choose BlackBerry to help them secure driverless cars, it could be the next big thing for the company. (Source: “BlackBerry Pushes to Extend Software to Self-Driving Cars,” Bloomberg, December 18, 2015.)
If BlackBerry can crack even one percent of this market, the stock could soar.
The Bottom Line on BBRY Stock
Of course, driverless cars are still in the works. And software for driverless cars would not be an instant growth driver for BlackBerry. But with a giant market ahead, this could be a huge catalyst for BBRY stock.