Everything You Need to Know About the Security Credential Management System (SCMS)

As more and more connected vehicles join our roads, a security system is needed to ensure that users can trust in the validity of information received from other system users. To meet this need, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has partnered with the automotive industry and industry security experts through the Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership (CAMP) to design and develop a state-of-the-art security system that enables users to have confidence in one another and the system as a whole.

The SCMS is a proof-of-concept (POC) message security solution for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. It uses a Public Key Infrastructure-based approach that employs highly innovative methods of encryption and certificate management to facilitate trusted communication. This is similar to the encryption methods used for online credit transactions. Authorized system participants use digital certificates issued by the SCMS POC to authenticate and validate the safety and mobility messages that form the foundation for connected vehicle technologies.

The SCMS ensures integrity, authenticity, and privacy for all users. Users will be able to trust that a message was not modified between sender and receiver, and that it originates from a trustworthy and legitimate source. To protect the privacy of vehicle owners, these certificates contain no personal or equipment-identifying information, but serve as system credentials so that other users in the system can trust the source of each message. The SCMS POC also plays a key function in protecting the content of each message by identifying and removing misbehaving devices, while maintaining privacy.

The SCMS is critical for interoperability to ensure that different vehicle makes and models are able to talk to each other and exchange trusted data without pre-existing agreements or altering vehicle designs.

For More Information

For more information about the SCMS, please take advantage of the following resources:

  • Explore the SCMS web page for more detailed information on the SCMS and its benefits.
  • Download the SCMS fact sheet for highlights on the SCMS POC, why it's needed, how it works, and the road ahead.