BlackBerry may no longer make its own smartphone hardware but that does not mean the company is moribund. The firm, which has remade itself as an enterprise IT security and services company, announced this week a new service aimed at smart city managers that it says will allow connected vehicles to securely communicate with Internet of Things sensors on infrastructure like traffic lights.
The offering, called a Security Credential Management System (SCMS) service, will be available with no service fees to automakers and public offices involved in smart city and connected vehicle pilots. Blackberry says the service allows vehicles and infrastructure “to exchange information in a trustworthy and private manner using digital certificates.”
Jim Alfred, general manager of BlackBerry's Certicom, tells ZDNet that the SCMS service can easily work for transnational deployments connecting roadways, cities and vehicles. He adds that the U.S. Department of Transportation has pilots for connected vehicles and information exchange underway. "We built up a production system that can interoperate with connected vehicle pilots as well as new pilots," he says.
The U.S. Department of Transportation says SCMS systems are necessary for smart cities to ensure that cars, traffic management centers and infrastructure can trust data they are receiving. By using Public Key Infrastructure relying on advanced encryption and certificate management, the systems can communicate essential information without betraying personal or equipment-identifying information, to maintain the privacy of drivers.