The term next-generation vehicle conjures up the vision of autonomous, or self-driving cars. And, indeed, that vision could one day become reality. But in making this vision reality, there are many obstacles to be overcome. Principal among those is security.
To enable the levels of security that safeguard the security and safety of users, and the data that is produced through high levels of intra- and inter-vehicle communication, PKI infrastructure provides a compelling alternative. The use of PKI is becoming prevalent within the Internet of Things (IoT), the term that is applied to the spiralling volume of networked devices that enable greater efficiency in many areas, from smart cities and homes, to manufacturing, energy production and more effective weather reporting. Connected vehicles currently make up roughly one half of all devices connected within the IoT.
PKI technology provides the identity verification, secure authentication and integrity protections that are necessary for achieving robust security. Verification of identity proves that messages come from the genuine sender and reach the intended recipient, with secure authentication attesting to this. Integrity is assured through the use of encryption, ensuring that data cannot be inappropriately accessed. Through these capabilities, PKI technology uses trusted digital certificates to provide high levels of security in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Through its use, security and privacy objectives can be met without the need for making far-reaching and costly changes to the components embedded in a vehicle or within other devices with which it communicates.