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Software Platform for Connected Cars Leans Into Safety and Security

With over 100 million lines of code in the average new car, security functions are becoming crucial to prevent hacking. In response, NHSTA seeks to require and standardize V2V communications.

As cars advance toward self-driving capability and roadside entities on public networks start to communicate with a vehicle’s On Board Units (OBU) to influence vehicle actions, security solutions can be expected to pop up like packs of ramen noodles at a dormitory. Last month the first platforms—the tip of a metaphorical iceberg—to address automotive cybersecurity challenges was demonstrated at the TU-Automotive Detroit conference in Novi, Mich.

There, Green Hills Software together with its Integrity Security Services (ISS) unit and partners Autotalks and Commsignia introduced a connected-car platform to enable OEMs and Tier-1s to design, develop, and deploy secure vehicle-to-anything (V2X) systems. Called the “Platform for Secure Connected Car,” it is said by Green Hills to enable automotive and smart-city product manufacturers and operators to obtain both V2X and European car-to-anything (C2X) certification.

The platform features the Integrity RTOS, which offers Common Criteria EAL 6+ security credentials and ISO 26262 ASIL D safety certification. Common Criteria is an internationally approved set of security standards that ensures a clear and reliable evaluation of the security capabilities of IT products for government customers. The Evaluation Assurance Level (EAL1 through EAL7) of a product or system is a numerical grade assigned following the completion of a Common Criteria security evaluation.

The demonstration featured Autotalks’ V2X secure automotive SoCs and Commsignia’s complete V2X stack with IEEE 1609.2 security. This last standard defines secure message formats and processing for use by Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments (WAVE) devices, including methods to secure WAVE management messages and methods to secure application messages. It also describes administrative functions necessary to support the core security functions.

Autotalks is a V2X-chipset maker providing OEMs, Tier-1 and Tier-2 customers with V2X solutions. Its chipsets include the CRATON2 V2X communication processor and are pre-integrated and designed to shorten development schedules and reduce cost. The AEC Q-100 grade 2 (-40 to +105°C) CRATON2 V2X communication processor employs a single- or dual-core ARM Cortex A7 CPU, a low-latency V2X Hardware Security Module (HSM), hardware acceleration engines and interfaces including USB 2.0, and Ethernet 10/100/1000 AVB. Connectivity options include concurrent 802.11p and WLAN (802.11a/b/g/n/ac at 2.4Ghz/5Ghz).

Commsignia, for its part, specializes in Connected Car / V2X software and hardware solutions compatible with IEEE 802.11p and Cellular V2X (4G/5G).The Commsignia V2X software stack provides a modular framework and a small footprint for resource-constrained target platforms. It supports Linux and RTOS operating systems.

According to Green Hills, the Commsignia portfolio of V2X applications includes:

  • Left Turn Assist (LTA)
  • Intersection Collision Risk Warning (ICRW)
  • Longitudinal Collision Risk Warning (LCRW)
  • Cooperative Forward Collision Warning (CFCW)
  • Road Hazard Signaling (RHS)
  • Pre-Crash Sensing
  • Blind Spot Warning
  • Stop Sign Movement Assistance

Based on the Integrity real-time operating system Green Hills’ Multivisor 64-bit Secure Virtualization, also included, brings a real-time, fast-boot platform for safely and security-critical software on 64-bit multicore processors. With this hypervisor the required level of security and functional safety is assured by dividing the system into independent partitions (Fig. 1). For example, Linux and/or Android OS can be installed to run applications that require cloud connectivity or navigation, and Green Hills’ Integrity or other RTOS can be installed on the same platform for applications that require functional safety support, such as instrument cluster and warning sound generators. .

Multivisor runs a general-purpose operating system in parallel with native real-time tasks. (Source: Green Hills)

 

Green Hills says the Platform has been tested with a Security Credential Management Service from its Integrity Security Services company. This addresses the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) announcement of New Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for docket number National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) 2016-0126, proposed to deliver vehicle-to-anything (V2X) and European car-to-anything (C2X) certificates to automotive and smart city product manufacturers and operators worldwide:

The basic concept of V2X is that traditional sensors within a vehicle are not sufficient to ensure the highest level of safety.  Direct communication between vehicles or between vehicles and other roadside elements (users or infrastructure) will be necessary for predicting and reacting to potential incidents. To that end, omnidirectional radio signals can provide 360-deg. coverage along with offering the ability to “see” around corners and “see” through other vehicles. Utilizing the 5.9 GHz spectrum, dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) device technology allows suppliers or vehicle manufacturers to integrate accurate operational and position information directly from surrounding vehicles.

NHTSA has concluded that V2V communication technology combined with V2V-based safety applications can provide significant benefits and potentially help drivers avoid thousands of crashes per year. NHSTA further believes that by leading with a mandate for V2V communication technology it will be able to foster industry development and deployment of new, beneficial safety applications.

As such, NHTSA 2016-0126 proposes to establish a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) to mandate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications for new light vehicles and to standardize the message and format of V2V transmission. Without a mandate to require and standardize V2V communications, the agency believes manufacturers will not be able to move forward in an efficient way and that a critical mass of equipped vehicles would take many years to develop, if ever.

But while experts are debating what are the best technologies for supporting the vehicular communication system today and in the future, fleet penetration research done by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that it takes about 30 years after a mandate for safety features to penetrate 95 percent of all registered light vehicles. Connected, autonomous cars are coming well before that and so companies should be encouraged to develop their software security early on. Given that, Green Hills Software should be applauded for being first to offer its security platform for the next generation of vehicles.

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