Digitalist Flash Briefing: Smart Factories, Smart Cars, And Smart Drivers

Everyone is talking about self-driving smart cars that are always connected. But where do they come from? Smart factories enabled by the automotive industry’s digital transformation.


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Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

As connected cars gain traction, consumers are more concerned about their security

As rollouts and developments in the connected car space continue, consumers are becoming more fearful of their influence.

That is according to the latest study from Thales, in association with Wakefield Research, which finds that three out of five respondents – with 1,000 adults in the US and UK polled – say they are more concerned about the security of internet-based vehicle technology now than compared with five years ago.

In total, 29% of US and 24% of UK respondents said they were ‘much more concerned’ around the overall security of connected cars compared with half a decade previously, while 32% and 35% respectively were ‘somewhat more concerned’. Only 4% of those polled in both the US and UK said they were ‘much less concerned.’ When it came to specific security issues, the most concerning – and immediate – for respondents was the car’s technology failing, followed by viruses or malware.

With this fear comes the hope of regulatory intervention. An overwhelming majority – 87% of US and 92% of UK respondents – said they agreed that their respective governments should implement stricter data security regulations for connected cars.

Writing for this publication earlier this month, Remy Cricco, chairman of the board at SIMalliance, said that hacking of connected vehicles ‘cannot be overstated’. “It is imperative that the authenticity and integrity of the software and firmware within a connected car is not compromised, and that both can be updated regularly – sometimes even immediately – to counter attacks in a rapidly evolving threat landscape,” Cricco wrote.

“As adoption of connected cars and development of autonomous, self-driving cars soars, there is a tremendous business opportunity for automakers. However, with more connectivity comes new pathways for cyberattacks,” said Peter Galvin, vice president strategy at Thales eSecurity. “While we’re starting to see IoT and connected car regulatory frameworks in the US like the SELF DRIVE act, manufacturers should proactively consider these consumer qualms as they get ready to bring these cars to our streets instead of waiting for laws and regulations to pass.”

Read more: Connected cars: The road to security and flexibility Latest from the homepage

Uber to buy thousands of Volvo autonomous drive compatible cars

Uber has signed a non-exclusive agreement with Volvo Cars to buy tens of thousands of self-driving compatible base vehicles between 2019 and 2021.

The Uber-Volvo Cars strategic partnership announced in August 2016 has been further enhanced with the new agreement, according to which Volvo Cars will supply an undisclosed number of XC90 premium SUVs to the ride sharing company. Engineers from both the companies worked together to formulate the car equipped with all required safety and core autonomous driving technologies that are required for the ride sharing company to add its own self-driving technology.

Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said: “The automotive industry is being disrupted by technology and Volvo Cars chooses to be an active part of that disruption. Our aim is to be the supplier of choice for AD ride-sharing service providers globally. Today’s agreement with Uber is a primary example of that strategic direction.”

Talking about the partnership, Uber’s head of auto alliances Jeff Miller said: “We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with Volvo. This new agreement puts us on a path towards mass produced self-driving vehicles at scale.”

Elsewhere, Lyft is looking to raise another $ 500 million, which the ride sharing company says is an extension of the recent $ 1 billion round led by CaptialG. As reported by TechCrunch, the additional $ 500 million funding will help Lyft to invest more capital into its passenger and driver products. The funding would come at a crucial time as Lyft is all ready to make its maiden move outside the US by entering the Canadian market in December. Latest from the homepage

Connected cars: The road to security and flexibility

Connected cars are driving the IoT revolution. BI Intelligence expects 381 million connected cars to be on the road by 2020, up from 36 million in 2015. Total revenues generated throughout the same period are estimated to reach $ 8.1 trillion.

With such opportunity, however, comes the prospect of unprecedented security and logistical challenges. This article explores the development of the connected car market alongside these emerging challenges, before introducing a technology which is already delivering enhanced security and significantly reduced complexity across the globe.  

5G as an enabler

While mainstream technology and applications can already connect a single vehicle to an external cloud or server to deliver in-car services, it will be the emergence of new enabling communication technologies such as 5G that drives the exponential growth of connected car use cases. Offering higher bandwidth, ultra-reliable networks, lower latency and much faster connection speeds, 5G will be influential in bringing autonomous driving – alongside other diverse connected car applications – to the mass market.

Autonomous driving uses cases create new communication requirements for vehicles. Since human lives are at risk, autonomous vehicles must be consistently aware of, and able to interact with, their surroundings. This form of technology is called V2X (Vehicle to Everything) and encompasses V2I (Vehicle-to-Infrastructure), V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle), V2P (Vehicle-to-Pedestrian) and V2N (Vehicle-to-Network) communications.

Security challenges

For all connected car use cases, both ultra-reliable network connectivity and security – encompassing authentication, data integrity/authenticity and privacy – are critical success factors. Diverse and constantly evolving security challenges must be fully considered.

The threat posed by remote hijacking, for example, is profound – not least because of the increasing use of vehicles as a threat actor in terrorist attacks. Consequently, the need to authenticate the identity of the user, the car’s own network connection and devices connecting with the car is, quite literally, a matter of life and death.

Similarly, the adverse implications of data tampering, manipulation and spoofing cannot be overstated, particularly in the context of automated mobility where the transmission and receipt of inaccurate data could result in collisions and fatalities. For the same reasons, it is imperative that the authenticity and integrity of the software and firmware within a connected car is not compromised, and that both can be updated regularly – sometimes even immediately – to counter attacks in a rapidly evolving threat landscape.

Consideration must also be given to protecting the sensitive data collected and communicated by connected cars against interception by malicious third parties. In addition, the growing consumption of premium content via in-car entertainment systems presents the need for conditional access policies and systems.  

Overcoming logistical complexities

Besides these and other security considerations, car manufacturers are also faced with significant logistical complexities presented by connected car use cases.  Of critical importance is continuous network coverage, which enables a vehicle to continually interact with its environment at all times. 

Remote management capabilities are also required. The average age of a car on the road is currently 11.6 years, during which it will have approximately four owners. The result is that beyond the initial personalisation process, when a car is first sold, various updates and upgrades to mobile network operator profiles, software, firmware and applications will be necessary during its lifespan. 

With the rise in sensitive use cases and the growing volume of data generated and transmitted by connected cars, car manufacturers will increasingly need to navigate a complex and evolving regulatory landscape. A successful connected car ecosystem will require security solutions which can provide the necessary certifications and assurances to ensure compliance with regulation covering aspects such as data protection, safety and payments. In parallel, solutions must ensure continued alignment and compliance with existing quality control standards such as ISO/TS 16949, which applies to the design, development, production, installation and servicing of automotive-related products.

Finally, and for obvious reasons, connected vehicles must withstand a range of challenging environmental factors and demonstrate resilience against high-speed, high-force collisions without the loss of critical functionality, such as emergency calling.

The eUICC – a proven solution

While UICCs, also known as SIMs, are most commonly associated with mobile phone connectivity, the embedded UICC (also known as the eUICC or eSIM) is already being deployed in – and successfully delivering security and logistical benefits to – connected car deployments in various global markets. Offering an advanced, dynamic security solution, the eUICC also brings logistical advantages associated with remote provisioning and management and a soldered form factor. 

An eUICC refers to an embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC) which is capable of hosting multiple network connectivity profiles (as defined by GSMA, an industry association representing mobile network operators). It supports secure over-the-air (OTA) remote SIM provisioning as well as updates to the operating system (OS), keys, application and connectivity parameters, according to GSMA and GlobalPlatform (the standard for secure digital services and devices) specifications.

With 5G set to play a vital role in enabling future connected car use cases, the automotive industry is increasingly looking to leverage evolutions in cellular technology. The eUICC provides an instantly available, interoperable infrastructure which is already well established globally. It offers huge efficiencies in development and deployment costs and time to market.

The eUICC delivers the advanced security required by connected car deployments. It is built on the UICC platform, which is the most widely distributed and secure application delivery platform in the world (certifiable and specified by the GSMA). The eUICC is a tamperproof physical hardware SIM product with its own isolated processing power and data storage. The eUICC can either be soldered to the device or removed and it securely executes sensitive services.  Conforming to Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (CC EAL) 4+, it offers the highest level of security assurance available. 

The inherent security of the eUICC is coupled with the significant advantages associated with OTA remote provisioning and management. As the mobile network operator profiles, software / firmware, and application updates and upgrades required over the course of a vehicle’s lifetime can be managed remotely, emerging security threats can be addressed in real-time, and significant logistical efficiencies can be found.

The growing role of the eUICC for connected cars

As car manufacturers and associated OEMs look to address the challenges posed by connected car use cases, the eUICC should be considered as a proven, highly secure solution which is available for immediate deployment. The eUICC is set to gain further prominence as the market continues to evolve, as from 2018 every new car in Europe will be connected to the mobile network via an eUICC to enable the mandatory eCall service.

For more detailed insight into the challenges facing the connected car market, and the value that eUICC technology can bring, download the SIMalliance eBook: ‘eUICC for: Connected cars’.

Read more: Autonomous vehicles: Three key use cases of advanced analytics shaping the industry Latest from the homepage

Here Come The Jetsons: Flying Cars And The Internet Of Things

Part 3 of the “Future of Transportation and the Internet of Things” series

If you ever watched the cartoon series The Jetsons – or almost any other show set in the space age – you’ll notice that people often get around in personal spacecraft that they themselves drive. Well, the space age is almost here – at least in the form of flying cars. But we won’t be driving them. Instead, like cars, they will be controlled autonomously.

In my last blog, I talked about autonomous vehicles and how much safer they are than self-driven vehicles. To ensure safety in the air, flying cars depend on the same network-connected IoT technology pioneered first in autonomous vehicles on the road.

Is the space age really here?

Let’s first take a quick look at some of the leading organisations out there doing serious work with flying cars.

  • Lilium: A German startup, Lilium tested a full-sized prototype of its flying car in April 2017. The Lilium prototype is entirely electric. It can also take off and land vertically like a helicopter – but then change to forward flight for speeds of up to 300km/h, which is much faster than a helicopter. And it’s quieter than a motorcycle. Lilium has raised $ 100m in two rounds of funding from Tencent, Ev William’s Obvious Ventures, Niklas Zennstrom’s Atomico, among others.
  • EHang: A Chinese company with deep experience building drones, EHang is perhaps the furthest along. The company produces the EHang 184 – a one-passenger flying car that has already undergone 100 successful manned test flights. Reportedly, the city of Dubai is this year launching a pilot program for an autonomous aerial taxi (AAT) service using the EHang 184.
  • Airbus: The aircraft giant, Airbus, has developed CityAirbus, an electric vehicle capable of vertical take-off and landing for up to four passengers. Airbus Vahana aims in the same direction but for is for individual travelers. And let’s not forget the hybrid Airbus Pop.Up concept, this modular air and ground system involves a passenger capsule that can be connected to a propeller system on top for flying or to a wheeled conveyance system for driving on the roads.

Uber – which recently signed an agreement teaming up with NASA around NASA’s Uncrewed Traffic Management (UTM) project developing air traffic control systems for un-crewed aerial systems (flying cars/drones). Even Boeing is making investments in this space.

This is starting to look real.

No network, no flying cars

What all of these ventures have in common is connectedness. Using IoT technology, they’re all controlled remotely – with the vehicle in constant connection to home base along the lines of what is now a reality for autonomous road vehicles like those made by Tesla.

Of course, the networked nature of vehicles (flying or not) has relevance beyond safety. No surprise, then, that Uber is moving forward aggressively with plans to test an on-demand flying cars network by 2020 in the cities of LA, Dubai, and Dallas, and 2023 in Sydney. Here the network provides convenience – coordinating a ride-sharing service in the sky that allows passengers to hook up with flying cars on the fly.

Drones for passengers

Essentially, what we’re moving toward is a future of passenger drones. One obstacle to this reality is the need for keeping batteries charged. Because of battery life issues, for example, the EHang 184 can only travel 23 minutes. The Lilium vehicle, it is claimed, can travel up to an hour – enough to make it from London to Paris. This, and advances in battery power storage capacity will iron out most issues around range.

When we solve this problem – and get over some regulatory hurdles – flying cars will become a lived reality for people in cities everywhere. The benefits will be tremendous, too. Count among these benefits such as less pollution (both air and noise pollution) and less traffic congestion (with flying cars taking another route entirely). And when it comes to emergencies, first responders can be deployed faster and more efficiently than ever before – helping to save lives. And let’s face it, flying cars would just be fun.

Next time I get to Dubai I’ll have to try one out.

To meet the market’s expectations for increasingly fast, responsive, and personalized service, speed of business will be everything. Find out how innovative processes can enable your business to remain successful in this evolving landscape. Learn more and download the IDC paper “Realizing IoT’s Value – Connecting Things to People and Processes.”

Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine