Securing Time Critical Traffic in (next gen) Automotive Networks

Today’s vehicles incorporate more and more enhanced services such as ADAS systems, smartphone integration, autonomous driving, connectivity, and entertainment for passengers. Efficient communication is the key to facilitate all these services. So far, in-vehicle communication systems have been designed to allow for very stringent end-to-end delays and deterministic communication requirements. However, they are inflexible, will hardly able to provide the bandwidth needs of future cars, and offer little security.

Contrary to conventional in-vehicle communication systems, Ethernet is flexible and offers high bandwidth. While Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) can guarantee tight end-to-end delays, and MACsec can provide security, there is no profile that consolidates these properties. Developing such an automotive TSN profile, which includes answering challenging research questions and thorough evaluation, is of the essence for future cars in terms of safety and security as well as comfort. The importance of this has been acknowledged by the IEEE which started working on such a profile (802.1DG).

The goal of SETICA is solving the research part of this endeavour as well as developing a realistic security-enabled TSN testbed, which, in turn, will allow thorough realistic evaluation. We plan to especially focus on gPTP, the timing protocol of TSN. The impact of successful attacks against gPTP is severe because many safety-critical applications depend on timing guarantees. We will also research novel approaches that go beyond 802.1DG, among them leveraging SDN for gaining even more flexibility and security.

SETICA will generate significant value, researching and developing important future technology to be used as key communication technology in vehicles to facilitate future functionalities and services, such as autonomous driving, connected cars, and ADAS functions, which will require all of high bandwidth, precise timing, and security.

Project duration: 01.06.2021 - 31.05.2024

Funding: Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), Honda R&D Europe (Germany)