Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Blackberry helps private and public sectors combine for smart cities

Steve Rogerson
December 12, 2018
Blackberry is helping the private and public sectors come together to accelerate the development of smart cities and intelligent transportation systems with a security credential management service (SCMS).
The Canadian company is addressing this need by making available, with no service fees to car makers and public offices involved in smart city and connected vehicle pilots, a SCMS that provides the mechanism for vehicles and infrastructure, such as traffic lights, to exchange information in a trustworthy and private manner using digital certificates.
According to the US Department of Transportation, as connected vehicle applications exchange information among vehicles, roadway infrastructure, traffic management centres and wireless mobile devices, a security system is needed to ensure that users can trust the validity of information received from other systems.
"The future of autonomous vehicles cannot be realised until intelligent transportation systems are put in place," said John Chen, CEO of Blackberry. "By removing barriers such as security, privacy and cost, we believe our SCMS will help accelerate the many smart city and connected vehicle pilot programmes taking place around the world."
The service is based on Blackberry's Certicom technology and provides a secure and reliable hosted public key infrastructure (PKI) that can manage certificates on behalf of an organisation or an entire ecosystem. The service is designed to scale to support national and transnational deployments, allowing OEMs and public officials to take advantage of a turnkey cloud-based service for vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) certificate issuance and lifecycle management. Blackberry can also support hybrid SCMS offerings optimised for high-volume vehicle production.
"Our government is focused on ensuring all Canadians stand to benefit from digital transformation,” said Navdeep Bains, Canada’s minister of innovation, science and economic development.‎ “Blackberry's commitment to advancing smart cities is yet another step forward for Canadian innovation. Building on Canada's promising advancements in the field of autonomous vehicles, it will help our communities use information and communications technology in a way that is secure and safe to improve their residents' lives."
The service has been interoperability tested in OmniAir Consortium plug fests held earlier this year. The company's first project using the service will be in partnership with Invest Ottawa, who will leverage it within a secure 16km road autonomous vehicle (AV) test track that resembles a miniature city, complete with pavement markings, traffic lights, stop signs and pedestrian crosswalks.
"We are delighted to partner with Blackberry to demonstrate this service in a variety of V2X applications," said Kelly Daize, director of the CAV programme at Invest Ottawa. "Our integrated public and private AV test tracks are equipped with GPS, DSRC, wifi, 4G, LTE and 5G, making this the first AV test environment of its kind in North America. We look forward to leveraging the world-class security and analytic capabilities of Blackberry and making them available to innovators, firms and regions to accelerate the secure deployment of AVs, intelligent transportation systems and smart cities."
Roger Lanctot, director of automotive connected mobility at Strategy Analytics, added: "Blackberry is taking a major step forward in support of smart city and connected car development efforts. While regulators are still in the process of defining what such a system might look like and how it will be deployed, Blackberry's offering will allow for the testing of various concepts and technologies right away in support of inter-vehicle and vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure applications."
Blackberry will be revealing more about the service at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.