Transport Canada awards contract to ESCRYPT to enhance the privacy and security of connected vehicles

News release

March 14, 2019    Waterloo, ON    Transport Canada

The Government of Canada welcomes innovation that will help to create Canada’s transportation system of tomorrow. That is why Transport Canada’s program to Advance Connectivity and Automation in the Transportation System (ACATS) is helping Canadian jurisdictions prepare for connected and automated vehicles.

In support of the Program’s objectives, the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, on behalf of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, today announced the award of a contract valued at up to $1.3 million to ESCRYPT to advance the development of a Canadian Security Credential Management System (SCMS) for connected vehicles.

Connected vehicles will improve the safety and efficiency of road transportation by enabling vehicles to communicate with smart infrastructure (e.g. traffic signals, rail crossings, traffic signs etc.) and other road users (e.g. pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists). Potential applications include:

  • Traffic signal priority for emergency response vehicles, like ambulances, police, and fire trucks.
  • Real-time road condition advisories to warn drivers about potential hazards, like slippery surfaces, accidents, or construction.
  • Warnings to advise commercial truck drivers about bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists.

The SCMS will help ensure that connected vehicle communications are secure and can be trusted. The SCMS incorporates privacy-by-design principles, and enables communication without revealing personal information about the vehicle or the driver.

As part of the contract, ESCRYPT will be responsible for developing Canadian requirements for the system, and recommending an operational model for how the technology may be deployed in Canada.

Outcomes of this work will be an important element of the department’s forthcoming cyber-security guidance – a signature initiative under Canada’s Safety Framework for Automated and Connected Vehicles – and ultimately a key feature of Canada’s regulatory regime moving forward.


“With this contract, we are creating new possibilities to enhance the capacity and competitiveness of Canada’s transportation system and preparing Canada for the technical, regulatory, and policy issues that are associated with these technologies. Connected and automated vehicles have the potential to greatly improve safety, foster innovation, and to reduce commute times and environmental impacts.”

The Honourable Bardish Chagger
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Waterloo

“Connected and automated vehicle technologies have immense potential, and will have a tremendous impact on our transportation system. Connectivity between vehicles and their surroundings is a core element of these future innovations. We have to ensure that Canada has a system in place to enable these vehicles to communicate securely, while protecting the privacy of Canadians, so that Canadians can have confidence in the transportation system of tomorrow.”

The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

“ESCRYPT is trusted by automakers, tier1 suppliers, and government organizations to provide security technology and expertise for connected vehicles. We are proud to be selected by the Government of Canada to help set the direction for secure vehicle-to-anything communications in Canada. Together we will solidify Canada’s position as a leader in the development and deployment of secure connected vehicle technology.”

David MacFarlane
General Manager, ESCRYPT Waterloo

Quick facts

  • The program to Advance Connectivity and Automation in the Transportation System (ACATS) is a $10.5M, five-year initiative, to help Canadian jurisdictions prepare for the technical, regulatory and policy issues emerging as a result of connected and automated vehicles. The Program undertakes research, studies and standards development.

  • ACATS is also providing up to $2.9 million in grant and contribution funding over 4 years to support 15 Canadian CAV demonstration and research projects. One of these projects is with University of Alberta, in partnership with ESCRYPT. The project will integrate an SCMS instance into the ACTIVE connected vehicle test bed, located in Edmonton Alberta. This will help test-bed partners understand and prepare for the security and privacy aspects of connected vehicles.

  • Connected and automated vehicles use technology, such as on-board sensors, cameras, global positioning systems, and telecommunications to provide driver warnings and assist with driving tasks.

  • Many of today’s vehicles already feature partial automation, including speed control, and braking and steering assist. Transport Canada is assessing connected and automated vehicles to understand their potential benefits.

  • The outcomes of this project will contribute to Transport Canada’s approach on cybersecurity as well as managing the safety and security of connected and automated vehicles.

  • Transport Canada is working with international governments through the United Nations to develop guidelines and regulatory requirements that facilitate innovation and aid in the safe deployment of automated features.

Associated links


Delphine Denis
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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