BlackBerry launches security credential management system for intelligent transportation, smart cities

The effort is aimed at securely enabling traffic lights and roads to better connect to vehicles in pilots.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

BlackBerry said it is launching a security credential management service designed for smart cities and transportations services so autonomous vehicles can securely communicate with infrastructure.

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The Security Credential Management Service (SCMS) is available with no service fees for public office and automakers with smart city and connected vehicle pilots. The effort is part of BlackBerry's push into the Internet of things, transportation and smart cities.

According to Mark Wilson, BlackBerry CMO, the SCMS service will initially launch in Ottawa for an autonomous vehicle test track under the Invest Ottawa program. The system allows infrastructure like traffic lights to connect to vehicles as well as manage public keys to exchange information.

For BlackBerry, the SCMS service is part of a stack designed for automakers and companies and governments involved in smart infrastructure. BlackBerry's QNX operating system has a large footprint in the automotive industry. BlackBerry also has a security service portfolio and recently acquired Cylance to build out the business.

Jim Alfred, general manager of BlackBerry's Certicom, said the SCMS service is designed for transnational deployments connecting roadways, cities and vehicles. He noted that the U.S. Department of Transportation has pilots for connected vehicles and information exchange. "We built up a production system that can interoperate with connected vehicle pilots as well as new pilots," he said.

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One intelligent transportation of the use case would be a traffic system telling a car and driver to be ready because a light is turning green in 10 seconds. The SCMS service, built on BlackBerry Certicom technology, would provide the public key infrastructure (PKI) to manage certificates to secure communication.

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The big theme for BlackBerry is to provide various components of smart transportation systems. SCMS services would be foundational components for vehicle to infrastructure communication.

Invest Ottawa will use the BlackBerry SCMS service for a 16-kilometer road autonomous vehicle test track. The track is a miniature city with traffic lights, stop signs and crosswalks for pedestrians. The track is equipped with GPS, Wi-Fi, 4G and 5G.

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