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BlackBerry wants to be the software behind smart cities

(Image credit: Image Credit: Jamesteohart / Shutterstock)

As cities around the world are planning their own smart city initiatives, BlackBerry has announced that it will help the private and public sector join forces to accelerate the development of smart cities and intelligent transportation systems with a Security Credential Management System (SCMS) service.

The company is addressing this need by offering automakers and public offices the use of its SCMS service with no service fees. 

BlackBerry's SCMS provides the mechanism for vehicles and infrastructure, such as traffic lights, to exchange information privately and in a trustworthy manner using digital certificates.

As connected vehicles make their way onto public roads and exchange information with one another, they will require a security system to ensure that users can trust the validity of information received from other systems.

Public key infrastructure

The SCMS service is based on BlackBerry's own Certicom technology and provides a secure and reliable hosted public key infrastructure (PKI) which can be used to manage certificates for an organisation or for an entire ecosystem.

The service has also been designed to scale to support both national and transnational deployments. This allows OEMs and public officials to utilise a turnkey cloud-based service for vehicle-to-infrastructure (v2X) certificate issuance and lifecycle management.

BlackBerry also has the ability to support hybrid SCMS solutions optimised for high-volume vehicle production.

The company's executive chairman and CEO John Chen explained why it decided to make its SCMS service available to organisations and public offices, saying:

“The future of autonomous vehicles cannot be realized until intelligent transportation systems are put in place. By removing barriers such as security, privacy, and cost, we believe our SCMS service will help accelerate the many Smart City and Connected Vehicle pilot programs taking place around the world.”