How do we identify threats for connected cars, and what do we do to negate them?
The automotive industry is rapidly evolving and cars are slowly transforming from a simple mode of transport to a personalized mobile information hub. Until recently, cars have been isolated from their environment and from the internet, but the Connected Car will soon feature various wireless technologies like V2X communications, telematics, Near Field Communication (NFC) and multi-standard digital broadcast reception, complemented by ADAS systems that implement autonomous driving features.
Modern vehicles are gradually turning into ‘smartphones-on-wheels’, which continuously generate, process, exchange and store large amounts of data. Their wireless interfaces connect the in-vehicle systems of these ‘Connected Cars’ to external networks such as the internet, which forms entry point for hackers, opening the door for remote attacks. Hence, the rapid increase in electronic complexity is potentially making them more vulnerable and giving rise to a new range of threats and hacks.
The big challenge for vehicle manufacturers is therefore to implement solutions that block hackers, with different motivations, resources and skill levels, and using many different attack vectors, in a cost-effective way. NXP is world leader in crypto- and authentication solutions, and has been working towards bringing banking-level security into the automotive world.
Since the potential threat of hacking does exist, security solutions that prevent network compromise and establish user identity have already been successfully applied in areas such as banking and e-identity, and are now available to the automotive market. Hence, NXP put together a framework, consisting of 4 security layers that lead to a highly secure vehicle network:
-Secure interfaces, which connect the vehicle to the external world
-Secure gateway, which provides domain isolation (separating interfaces, infotainment, safety-critical systems etc.)
-Secure network, that provides secure communication between control units (ECUs)
-Secure processing units, that implement all the features of the connected car
Each connected component has its own specific security challenges. The 4+1 framework provides the right level of protection and countermeasures to individually address the security needs for each one. This structured approach delivers multiple levels of defense, from the vehicle’s perimeter to the individual electronic control units (ECUs), eliminating vulnerabilities. The 4 layer security framework provides a holistic approach for securing the complete vehicle architecture, using a defense-in-depth strategy.
By when do we expect the very first connected cars to be available in production units?
Some automakers have already announced their plans of introducing Connected Car in India by 2017. While, the benefits, especially in terms of driver safety, lives saved from drunk and distracted drivers etc. are innumerable, the auto industry still needs to work rapidly towards developing new security and safety measures. NXP has been working with some of the world’s leading automakers to make vehicles smarter and to improve driving experience. Our systems-level expertise, deep understanding of complex ADAS engineering challenges, and broad portfolio of NXP products meeting automotive-grade (ISO 26262-level) functional safety requirements, all position NXP as the definitive silicon provider capable of single-handedly speeding the readiness and availability of the self-driving cars of tomorrow.
How big a role can the introduction of connected cars play in improving the overall network connectivity status of India?
While the incumbent Government has been making significant strides towards developing the urban and rural infrastructure, improving manufacturing facilities and implementing favourable policies like Make in India. However, a growing economy and rapid urbanisation need a robust urban infrastructure for domestic growth of the automotive sector, which has been boosted by the Smart Cities Mission. One major components of Smart Cities initiative is creating and developing an efficient urban mobility and public transport system that provides a variety of transport options.
Connected cars provide seamless connectivity between different electronic systems such as infotainment, control systems, safety features and navigation features through internet within the car as well as with outside systems through Internet of Things (IoT). Connected cars would encourage collaborations between manufacturers of electronic devices used in cars, mobile devices, wearable devices, IT systems integrators as well as ISPs. Therefore, connected cars will play an instrumental role in catalysing the envisaged smart transportation and smart infrastructure leading to further increase in the economic activity in automotive sector in the next decade.