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Preventing cyber‑threats in connected and automated mobility

Daniel Ruiz, CEO of Zenzic, and Geoff Davis, Executive Director, HORIBA MIRA & VP for HORIBA Automotive Test Systems, explain why the UK needs to act now to stay ahead of the challenges around automotive cyber-security.

Daniel Ruiz, CEO of Zenzic, and Geoff Davis, Executive Director, HORIBA MIRA & VP for HORIBA Automotive Test Systems, explain why the UK needs to act now to stay ahead of the challenges around automotive cyber-security.

Why is now the right time to start improving cyber-security in CAVs?

Daniel Ruiz:  Essentially it’s because the UK cannot afford to fall behind in what is an international race to perfect connected and automated mobility and make it a part of the everyday. Zenzic is dedicated to accelerating the self-driving revolution in the UK, and in the last six months we’ve been particularly focused on two things: the Connected Automated Mobility (CAM) Testbed UK and the CAM roadmap that directly relates to it.

We’re making sure that the testbed is gelling into one aggregated facility that sits in the UK and is accessible to UK manufacturers, operators and developers of mobility solutions, as well as global organisations in the same sector.

It comprises 28 companies and six consortia. They range from the controlled environments that are essentially CAM or CAV layers being built on top of existing world-class facilities, like HORIBA MIRA and Millbrook, through to the semi‑controlled at Cullen, near Oxford. Then there’s the public domain testing facilities, which in London is the Smart Mobility Living Lab led by TRL, and the West Midlands facility, which is particularly interesting because it links back to HORIBA MIRA in Nuneaton, but also brings in the rural highways and urban roads around the Birmingham and Coventry areas.

That project is led by Transport for West Midlands, so it’s a public sector organisation participating in the consortium. Testbed UK will ensure that the collaboration creates a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. The critical part is the ability to test vehicle systems in the broader sense and see how they can deliver mobility.

As for the Roadmap, it is designed to give a framework for the whole sector when strategising and planning, to make sure that it is investing where it counts most. The roadmap highlights that cyber-security, telecommunications, public acceptance and regulation are four of the most important ‘critical path activities’. We have to start – or continue to build – on them now if we’re going to remain at the front of the race with the rest of the world.

What aspects in the engineering of CAVs need to be addressed to protect them from cyber-threats?

Geoff Davis:  The beginning of our involvement in this goes back some 30 years or so, when HORIBA MIRA began developing capabilities in electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). This is where we, as vehicle engineers, are concerned by the electromagnetic fields that are emitted from electronic devices and the impact they can have on vehicle operation. Take batteries and motors as an example; emissions from these can be harmful to operator health and can impact the performance of vehicle-based electrical systems.










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