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The Future of Connected Cars: Planning for 260 Billion Certificates per Year

V2V and V2I Communication

Earlier this month, TrustPoint Innovation presented at ITS Canada's 2016 conference. We provided an update on the Security Credential Management System (SCMS), the security infrastructure that powers the US Department of Transportation's proposed V2X collision warning and avoidance system.

V2X communication holds the promise of improving vehicular safety, reducing collisions, and saving lives. V2X provides the vehicle and driver with 360-degree awareness, and can detect potential collisions at a greater distance than other types of safety systems. Drivers will receive early alerts, giving them more time to take action.

It was big news a few months ago when the Google test car collided with a city bus. The collision happened when the Google car reacted to avoid a construction sandbag. The bus was not able to stop in time. Earlier warning about the closed lane and two-way communication with the bus could have prevented the accident.

In addition to crash avoidance, V2X also paves the way for smooth traffic management, improved public transportation and greater infrastructure management. As smart cities evolve, drivers can expect to see:

  • Adaptive stop light management that can enhance the flow of traffic
  • Emergency work, lane closure and road condition warnings
  • Public vehicle lane prioritization and traffic signal management
  • Intelligent bus stops

Security is essential to protect communications from attacks such as spoofing, alteration, or replay that could cause false alerts or suppress true alerts.

The SCMS is designed to support a very large-scale security infrastructure with multiple vendors running a plethora of safety, traffic management, and emergency response applications. The expected scale of the system will serve 300 million vehicles and issue approximately 260 billion security certificates per year, making it among the largest deployments of security credentials in history.

Unlike most security deployments where end-entity identity is a core goal, the SCMS is designed to provide a very high degree of authenticity while preserving a reasonable level of anonymity of the sender.

Certificates provide a solution that balances security and privacy. Every message is digitally signed, which validates the sender. However, no unique information about the car is included, and the certificate changes every five minutes. At the same time, linkages can be made so that, with the cooperation of vehicle or device manufacturer, misbehaving devices can be identified and removed, yet casual tracking is not possible.

The core design of the SCMS is now complete and a prototype version is ready for testing to support connected vehicle pilots and a Smart City program in the next 12 months.

The advancement of V2X will require unprecedented infrastructure and cooperation between multiple partners. TrustPoint Innovation is excited to be a security technical advisor to the SCMS design program. We can't wait to see where the technology, backed by trusted encryption and secure infrastructure, will drive us.

Contact us today to learn more about how TrustPoint Innovation can secure your V2X or IoT innovation.

About this Blog

The TrustPoint Innovation Blog covers security industry topics relating to Certificates, Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC), Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communication, Near Field Communication (NFC), Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communication, and more.

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