Cybersecurity and Functional Safety in Cooperative Driving

White Paper / Sep 2019

The automotive domain is in transition from a driver focus towards autonomous-system-based mobility. This transition is being taken even further with the development of cooperative driving, where (semi) autonomous vehicles (AVs) are cooperating in executing various driving functions.

With the increase in IT-based functions in autonomous and cooperative driving, a joint approach is needed to keep future vehicles safe and secure. Cooperative driving is based on ad-hoc networks of autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles that can perform collaborative driving functions. Participating vehicles may travel very closely together safely and at high speeds.

There are various technologies that enable the transition to autonomous-system-based mobility, resulting in highly connected interdependent systems. Whereas before it was sufficient to have a safe and secure vehicle, now with increased cooperative functionality it becomes paramount to be able to determine the security and safety state of vehicles in these cooperative functions.

The security and safety requirements vary depending on the vehicle-related application and required connectivity. In this whitepaper, we focus on applications that demand both security and safety. With vehicles becoming more and more connected to broaden the possibilities in autonomous and collaborative driving, this trend also gives rise to specific challenges related to this connectedness. In this whitepaper, we focus on two areas, with each having its own challenges.

The first is the objective of keeping autonomous vehicles safe and secure. The main challenge in establishing this is:  

  • How can the system determine if it is in a state where it is safe and secure to engage an autonomous function?  

The second is establishing safe and secure collaborative driving and keeping that collaboration safe. Challenges to achieve this include: 

  • How can the trustworthiness/reliability of sensor information from other collaboration vehicles be identified? 
  • How can it be determined that the other systems are in a state where it is safe to engage in collaborative driving configurations?

In this whitepaper we explore these challenges, leading to the general conclusion that we believe that a negotiation of security and safety functions between vehicles in cooperative driving functions is necessary to create a system that is future proof. It is inevitable that over time, vehicle capabilities will change, security capabilities will change, and new systems and solutions will be designed. A robust negotiation mechanism that takes this into account is therefore necessary in order to be able to take advantage of the safety and security capabilities of newer vehicles.