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BlackBerry outlines seven frameworks to secure connected and autonomous cars from cyber threats

Autonomous cars are now becoming more of a reality as carmakers and their partners continue the development of self-driving technologies. Connected vehicles now actually exist but auto companies see that more things can still be done. As cars become more connected and head onto full autonomy, there is also a growing need to secure them. As to how, BlackBerry has recommended a seven-point framework.

According to BlackBerry, cars might become more of a membership perk than ownership objects as autonomous driving technologies improve. This is because connected and self-driving vehicles become more prone to cyber attacks and failures. The company is seeing four trends in the auto industry that are causing such vulnerabilities: vehicles access, software control, autonomous driving as well as the changing state of software. Sandeep Chennakeshu, President of BlackBerry Technology Solutions, said in a statement that protecting a vehicle from cybersecurity threats requires a holistic approach.

To address such cyber risks, carmakers could adopt seven security measures, as outlined by Blackberry in its white paper.

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Blackberry seeks to widen lead in connected-car market

While BlackBerry is heavily defeated by its rivals in the smartphone software market, it remains strong in the connected-vehicle market. Its QNX operating system has become the technology of choice for mapping, communication and entertainment systems for carmakers like Ford Motor Co., Porsche and BMW.

Mark Boyadjis, an analyst at IHS Automotive, remarked that the QNX is one of the more valuable assets in Blackberry right now. Blackberry is seeking to get a larger share of the connected-car market as demand for its smartphones continues to drop. Analysts expect the company’s revenue last quarter to have dropped 58 percent.

QNX accounts for around 2 percent of BlackBerry's sales, and has to possibly fend off challenges from rivals Apple and Google in the connected-car market. The market for connected-car technology -- worth $18 billion in 2012 – is expected to climb to $53 billion in 2018, according to GSMA, a global association of wireless carriers.

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Ford junks Microsoft’s Windows for BlackBerry’s QNX for its SYNC system

Ford Motor Co., will base the next-generation SYNC system on BlackBerry's QNX, no longer employing Microsoft Windows, people briefed on the matter told Bloomberg. They remarked that using QNX will be less costly than licensing Microsoft technology, and the move will enhance the flexibility and speed of the next SYNC system.

Ford has over 7 million vehicles on the road with SYNC using Microsoft voice-activated software that allows phone calling and music playing. Ford chief executive Alan Mulally has seen the carmaker dip in quality surveys by J.D. Power & Associates and Consumer Reports, with customers citing tech systems and touchscreen issues.

According to Ford, the quality of its vehicles have been "mixed" each of the past three years. The carmaker admitted falling short of its plan to improve those results last year. Ford sees the improvement in SYNC as crucial attracting customers who are increasingly looking to be connected at all times.

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Vw agreed to give a break to its German workers from BlackBerry messages

As part of a deal between the automaker and the works council, Volkswagen’s workforce in Germany will receive e-mails on the inboxes of their Blackberry devices for a period that starts 30 minutes before the flex-time working hours begin until 30 minutes after the shift ends. When e-mails continue to be received by the workers at any time of the day and night on their smartphones that the company provides, the risk of burnout is increased.

A VW spokesman said that the e-mail function will be deactivated at night but the workers can still receive and make phone calls.

Works council member Heinz-Joachim Thust said that Volkswagen's six plants in Germany have 1,154 pay-scale employees that have a smartphone device that VW furnished. The works council wants to oppose any expectation that employees have to be reachable always.

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Porsche Design and Research In Motion has introduced the elite new Porsche Design P'9981 smartphone from BlackBerry. The luxury brand's first smartphone was developed by Porsche Design, in partnership with RIM. The Porsche Design P'9981 smartphone from BlackBerry can be easily recognized as a product from Porsche Design.

This smart is offered with the following material options: a forged stainless steel frame, hand-wrapped leather back cover, sculpted QWERTY keyboard, and crystal clear touch display. The new Porsche Design P'9981 was customized inside and out. It is offered with an exclusive Porsche Design UI and a bespoke Wikitude World Browser app.

Furthermore, it features premium, exclusive PINs that aid in recognizing another P'9981 smartphone user. A performance driven platform is used for the Porsche Design P'9981. It comes with a 1.2 GHz processor, HD video recording, 24-bit high resolution graphics, and advanced sensors that allow for new augmented reality applications. It is equipped with 8GB of on-board memory but with a micro SD card, it could be expanded to 40GB.

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