Secure-CAV testing goes into the lab for the first time

Dr. Hesamaldin Jadidbonab, Systems Security Group, Institute for Future Transport and Cities (IFTC), Coventry University

Today is a very significant day: for the very first time on the Secure-CAV project, we are able to get into our lab and start work on thoroughly testing our use cases. COVID-19 has been hanging over us since the project started – we have adapted and it hasn’t stopped our work, but it’s meant the team has never been in once place, and we have not had the opportunity to get hands-on with the equipment.

Secure-CAV consortium is funded by Innovate UK to develop cybersecurity solutions to bridge the gap between the technology roadmap of connected and autonomous vehicles, and the inevitable progress of hacking and risks to automotive security.

As I shared in my last update, we have been coping with the challenges of remote working, building duplicate ‘domestic’ versions of the demonstrator platform which effectively emulates the on-board network of CAVs (connected and autonomous vehicles) allowing us to assess its resilience in the face of cyber attacks. The mini-demonstrators we have used in our own homes have enabled us to continue our work, and even to successfully run simple tests on the first use case. But with access to the full-scale demonstrator it means we will now be able to fully test and prove the use cases complete with the analytics from UltraSoC’s embedded IP.

Coming into the lab today was both exciting and intimidating. Access isn’t easy due to COVID restrictions, and frankly there’s a lot to be done! There is a lot of equipment to unpack and start to assemble before the lab can be truly up and running. The lab is part of Coventry University’s Institute for Future Transport and Cities – so access to the lab and to work in the lab is covered by significant COVID-19 safety restrictions. The number of people working in the lab is restricted to four in one day; the times and days we can work are restricted; to manage these constraints, our access to the lab needs to be pre-booked. Obviously, all the equipment needs to be sanitised before and after each time we go into the lab, and all that takes time away from our core work. All sensible and very necessary, but it means we are having to be super organised, coordinated and make sure we plan ahead.

So, now we’re in, and are busy getting things set up, our focus is squarely on getting the full-scale demonstrator platform working. Although the ‘mini’ demonstrators built in our homes were functional and allowed us to run tests, it hasn’t been possible to integrate the analytics. With this access, we can now start to work towards getting the results on our first use case.

The demonstrator includes simulators to generate data, communication and architectures, supported by a dedicated configuration platform for test control. The validation platform must be capable of demonstrating and testing the core technology: the efficacy of UltraSoC’s embedded analytics IP delivering in-life monitoring capabilities to the CAV system; and an FPGA based multicore platform for the parallel data processing and analysis functions. 

We are looking forward to telling you more details about the testing and results soon, so stay tuned!

Read more about the demonstrator platform, how this fits in with and helps to validate the work of the Secure-CAV consortium here

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