BlackBerry develops auto security service set to restore its popularity

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BlackBerry Ltd is working with at least two automakers to develop a security service that would remotely scan vehicles for computer viruses and tell drivers to pull over if they were in critical danger, according to a financial analyst.

The service, which would also be able to install security patches to an idle car, is being tested by luxury automakers Aston Martin and Range Rover.

Auto security is among several areas that BlackBerry is betting will boost its revenue after the Canadian company lost its dominance of the smartphone market to Apple Inc and others over the past decade.

The service could be launched as early as next year, generating about $10 a month per vehicle for BlackBerry.

Automaker interest in cyber security has risen dramatically since 2015, when two hacking experts uncovered vulnerabilities in Fiat Chrysler vehicles that led to a U.S. recall of 1.4 million autos.

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