Automated, Networked, Secure: Research network develops new approaches to safety and security for vehicles of the future

No 206/2018 from Jul 27, 2018

The Institute of Computer Science at Freie Universität Berlin is involved in a joint project that deals with testing and optimizing the safety aspects of networked, self-driving cars. In a project called "Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars" (SecForCARs), a group led by Jörn Eichler is investigating the interaction of cybersecurity and functional safety and their systematic inclusion in the development of interconnected vehicles with automated driving functions. SecForCARs is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research with 7.2 million euros. The project will run until March 2021.

Vehicles today have a variety of communication interfaces and more and more automated driving functions such as parking assist technology, distance control assistants, or autonomous lane control. In addition, the automotive industry is working on model vehicles that are networked with each other and "warn" each other, for example, about road damage or black ice. Along with the complex functions, however, the security requirements are also increasing.

Especially when dealing with autonomous vehicles, cybersecurity and possible consequences for functional safety must be considered together. The Secure System Engineering group at the Institute of Computer Science of Freie Universität aims to develop a model coupling security and safety aspects in order to analyze and systematize mechanisms of cybersecurity and functional safety during the development of self-driving cars. The model-based coupling will need to be incorporated into the management of risks, requirements, and testing in order to be able to evaluate, among other things, safety tests and effects of cyberattacks.

The joint project SecForCARS brings together a total of 15 partners from science and industry. Volkswagen AG and AUDI AG are involved as automobile manufacturers. The supply industry is represented by Infineon Technologies AG and Robert Bosch GmbH. ESCRYPT GmbH, Itemis AG, Mixed Mode GmbH, and SCHUTZWERK GmbH represent tool manufacturers and the security industry. Selected research institutes, colleges, and universities are included to ensure the transfer of up-to-date research findings into the project. In addition to Freie Universität Berlin, they include the University of Ulm, the Technical University of Braunschweig, the Technical University of Munich, and the University of Karlsruhe as well as the Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied and Integrated Security (AISEC) and for Design Technology Mechatronics (IEM). SecForCARS is coordinated by Infineon Technologies AG.


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