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Winners of £1.2 million self-driving vehicle cyber security feasibility studies funding announced

Zenic the organisation dedicated to accelerating the self-driving frevolution in the UK, has revealed the recipients of £1.2 million in funding from a competition focused on cyber security in self-driving vehicles. The Cyber Securities Feasibility studies competition is part-funded by the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) and delivered in partnership with Innovate UK. The competition winners will help define requirements for, and support the development of a connected and automated mobility (CAM) cyber security testing capabilities.

Zenzic’s UK Connected and Automated Mobility Roadmap to 2030, which is based on the input of over 150 organisations across government, academia and industry, highlights cyber resilience as the most significant technical challenge to be solved before the UK can benefit from self-driving vehicles on roads and the services they will underpin. Self-driving vehicles will need to communicate with other vehicles, infrastructure and third-party services, with data being shared across an ever-evolving and increasingly complex national infrastructure.

The competition winners will focus on three key areas:

  1. Finding ways to measure and maintain cyber-physical resilience and identify vulnerabilities, which will support the creation and testing of cyber-physical and software architectures, best practice in design and lifetime management
  2. Providing specifications to support the creation of new cyber test facilities for connected and self-driving vehicles
  3. Exploring commercial opportunities to develop new cyber-related services that can be deployed in the UK and across the global CAM marketplace

Seven projects have been awarded funding:

  • ResiCAVHORIBA MIRA, BT, CFMS Services, Oxfordshire County Council, Techworks, Thales, WMG
    • The use of current tools and techniques applied to static analysis of vehicles will be applied to real-time monitoring and response. It will develop requirements for a cyber security operations centre and extend the application of AI and data visualisation techniques.
  • CAVShieldHonda R&D Europe (UK) Ltd, IBM, Nexor, Toshiba, University of Bristol
    • Focuses on the data privacy aspects of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) to identify methodologies for real-time identification and measurement of vulnerabilities in CAV networks to enable widespread implementation to protect large vehicle fleets. This includes long-term commercial viability of cyber-related services for the CAM industry.
  • Project MeiliIDIADA UK, Crypta Labs, Teskalabs
    • Evaluation of new cybersecurity risks arising from the increasing connectivity in modern vehicles. Based on the network analysis performed and the threats uncovered, a modular hardware and software platform will be defined and demonstrated to test and evaluate the impact of C-ITS on traffic safety, driver confidence, and infrastructure development.
  • V2X Vulnerability MappingF-Secure
    • Development and application of testing methodologies for V2X infrastructure that are effective in providing comprehensive technical assessment of cyber risk exposure in a cost-effective and scalable manner, while allowing focused detection on the points that matter most.
  • PNT Cyber ResilienceSpirent, WMG
    • Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) products and services will be examined to demonstrate and determine the feasibility of a new observer-based technique to ‘attack’ and test CAV PNT-related functions in both controlled and real-world scenarios
  • DT-4-CTChilton Computing, Huduma, Oxfordshire County Council, Science and Technology Facilities Council 
    • Researching cybersecurity threats to connected vehicle networks and proposing a cybersecurity testing methodology using a digital twinning approach to identify and measure dynamic threats and suggest mitigation strategies.
  • BeARCATCisco, Millbrook Proving Ground, Telefonica UK, WMG
    • BeARCAT will explore the feasibility of a coherent, holistic approach to Cybersecurity testing for connected vehicle networks in the UK through CAV Testbeds.

The competition  is part of the government’s £100 million CAM Testbed UK Fund, supporting the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge. As a key part of the UK government’s modern Industrial Strategy, the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge was announced in 2017 to encourage and support extraordinary innovation in UK engineering and technology, making the UK a world leader within the transport industries. This includes facilitating profound changes in transport technologies and business models, to make the movement of people, goods and services across the nation greener, safer, easier and more reliable.

Richard Porter, Technology and Innovation Director at Zenzic said:

“The UK has one of the world’s leading cyber resilience industries. We have incredible academic institutions and testing facilities across the country, and have paved the way for cyber security technology development since the birth of the internet. With the advent of self-driving vehicles, the complexity of cyber defences will increase as thousands of vehicles, pieces of road-side infrastructure and connecting systems need to share data securely. This is an opportunity for the UK to build on the decades of experience we already have and once again set the standards for the rest of the world to follow.”

Future of Transport Minister, George Freeman, said:

“The connected and self-driving vehicle sector is set to be worth £62 billion by 2030, with safer roadsand smoother, more accessible journeys for all. Whether we’re turning cars into Wi-Fi connected hotspots or equipping them with millions of lines of code, we must consider the new challenges of putting this technology into practice. Today’s £1.2 million funding boost will help to guarantee the future safety and security of self-driving vehicles, both in the UK and globally.”

Business Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, said: 

“Many of the cars on sale today include assistance systems that drivers are familiar with, like cruise control and lane-keeping technology. Future vehicles will be even more advanced. This funding will help ensure this technology is safe and secure, and will grow our status as a global leader in defining the future of mobility and, in particular, connected and autonomous vehicles.”

Zenzic released its ‘UK Connected and Automated Mobility Roadmap to 2030’ report in September 2019 which can be downloaded here: https://zenzic.io/roadmap/

About Zenzic

Zenzic created by government and industry to champion the connected and self-driving ecosystem and accelerate the self-driving revolution in the UK. The company drives collaboration with partners across industry, government and academia to shape a world-class Testbed UK, and to deliver a comprehensive UK Connected and Automated Mobility Roadmap to 2030. Zenzic is channelling £200 million of investment, with the goal of ensuring a safer, more inclusive and productive mobile future.

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base. They connect businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn these ideas into commercially successful products and services, and business growth. Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation.

About BEIS

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is working to build an economy that works for everyone, so that there are great places in every part of the UK for people to work and for businesses to invest, innovate and grow. The Department is responsible for business, industrial strategy, science, research and innovation, energy and clean growth, and climate change.

About the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV) 

The Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles seeks to keep the UK at the forefront of the development and deployment of connected and self-driving vehicles through policy development, regulatory reform and joint investment with industry into R&D and testing facilities.