BlackBerry has introduced its new Security Credential Management System (SCMS) aimed at speeding up the development of smart cities and autonomous vehicles.

The new SCMS will be offered free of charge to automakers and public offices involved in smart city and connected vehicle pilots.

Technology firm BlackBerry said that the SCMS will provide the required mechanism for vehicles and infrastructure so that information can be shared securely using digital certificates.

The US Department of Transportation has also said that a security system is required to ensure users can trust the validity of information received from other systems such as vehicles, roadway infrastructure, traffic management centres, and wireless mobile devices.

Blackberry’s SCMS service is powered by the company’s Certicom technology and provides a secure and reliable hosted Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). It can supervise certificates on behalf of an organisation or an entire ecosystem.

“The future of autonomous vehicles cannot be realised until intelligent transportation systems are put in place.”

The service can be deployed at national and transnational levels, which enables OEMs and public officials to benefit from a turnkey cloud-based service for vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) certificate issuance and lifecycle management.

BlackBerry executive chairman and CEO John Chen said: “The future of autonomous vehicles cannot be realised 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.”

BlackBerry has teamed up with Invest Ottawa to launch the first project using the new SCMS service, covering an area of 16km road autonomous vehicle (AV) test track and featuring pavement markings, traffic lights, stop signs, and pedestrian crosswalks.

Invest Ottawa CAV programme director Kelly Daize said: “Our integrated public and private AV test tracks are equipped with GPS, DSRC, Wi-Fi, 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.”