MOTOR Magazine

A MOTOR Magazine Newsletter
September 1, 2016

Contributed by Bob Chabot
ADAS in a Connected World

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems simplify driving and improve safety

The shift toward Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), connected vehicle-to-everything networking and automated driving marks a milestone in the history of the automotive industry. From a technical perspective, new components, systems and software architectures are emerging. The vehicle-based innovations are also an integral part of intelligent, interconnected transportation systems, which leverage Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) or Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I), systems, otherwise known as V2X systems.

The spiraling proliferation of ADAS functionality in new vehicles is increasing software at an exponential rate, which is sparking significant changes in how data has been managed and communicated. (Image — NHTSA)

ADAS and V2X are Constantly Evolving
Both technologies are disruptive. They introduce totally new challenges and require significantly higher levels of design, analytic and verification tools that will fundamentally shift the way automotive Electric/Electronics (E/E) architectures and software systems built and integrated.

"ADAS significantly adds to the software cross-dependencies in vehicles, which, in order to execute all of the required new functions, will need additional levels of computing performance and network communications far exceeding that of established vehicle E/E systems," said Dr. Kai Richter, Director of Engineering for Luxoft Automotive. "It is a highly sophisticated task to efficiently and optimally utilize these new platforms, because the software needed is growing faster than developers can imagine."

Examples include new sensor and scanner types (e.g. laser, ultrasonic, radar, infrared camera) as well as new complex software (for object recognition, lane detection and video communication). For instance, information can now be displayed in head-up-display (HUD) technology can now show information on the inner windshield to assist, without distracting, drivers when making accelerating, braking, steering and other decisions.

How ADAS and V2X Communications Work
Using on-board dedicated short-range radio communication devices, a V2X communications system exchange Basic Safety Message (BSMs), with other vehicles, transportation authorities and other infrastructure. BSMs include information about the vehicle's speed, heading, brake status, size, among other data. Of note, V2X-equipped vehicles are more "aware" some threats much more quickly than sensors, cameras or radar because of their longer detection distance and ability to "see" around corners or through other vehicles. (Image — Microsemi Corp.)

ADAS and V2X Power a Shift in Communication Topology
"These innovations can only be advanced by increasing software content and computing power that far exceeds what is currently available in most vehicles today," explained Prem Arora, Director of Marketing for Microsemi Corp. "Managing the collection and communication of the ever-increasing volume of data will require a shift away from many onboard, heavily distributed Electronic Control Units (ECUs) to architectures that have fewer centralized high-performance computers connected to the hundreds of sensors and actuators spread throughout the entire vehicle. E/E architectures will also need to provide higher bandwidth and quicker messaging speed."

Richter and Arora agree that improved security is crucial for the promise of ADAS and V2X to be fully realized. Basic safety messages (BSMs) must originate from a verified trustworthy source. In addition, there must be safeguards to ensure that no BSM is modified between sender and receiver. Otherwise, a fake message or malicious data manipulation could cause accidents by providing false data about the speed and direction of oncoming traffic. Users must also feel confident that V2X systems will not threaten personal data privacy or their personal movement.

Ethernet Will Shape Future Vehicle Communication Architectures
By 2020, more than 120 million cars will be equipped with Ethernet connecting up to 35 vehicle systems with Ethernet, and in mid-range vehicles, between 8-20 systems. Ethernet is well-qualified to serve as the communication bus of choice for next-gen vehicles because it delivers the necessary capacity, performance and versatility unavailable from CAN bus, FlexRay, MOST, J1850/1939 and other protocols. (Image — BMW AG)

The experts also suggested several best practices as keystones for securing ADAS, V2X and eventually automated driving:

  • Encryption — In order to prove authenticity, the sender of a V2X message must provide a unique identifier that can be verified at the receiver to confirm that the message originated from a true source. Typically this is achieved by using either symmetric or asymmetric cryptographic techniques that create public and private keys that control what, if any, level of assess to messages is permitted. Symmetric cryptography is more suitable for smaller onboard networks that have a limited number of nodes, while asymmetric cryptography works better in the broader V2X environment.
  • Authentication — It's critical to ensure that the private or public key used by each node is authentic and has not been tampered with. Think of it as an electronic handshake. Solutions must first include digitally unique unclonable signatures, known as Physically Unclonable Functions (Poofs). In addition, solutions should use a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), which create, store and distribute digital certificates that verify that a key is actually authentic before permitting access to data.
  • Certification — The PKI generates a Certificate Authority (CA) that is pre-placed in all the approved vehicle network nodes. The CA acts as a trust agent, used by message senders and receivers to verify.

The takeaway: Look for secured connectivity to be a hot topic at upcoming NACE/CARS, AAPEX/SEMA, CES and other automotive events.

According to the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the PUF/PKI asymmetric key and the signature method is the most effective way to implement communications security and trusted messaging across a very large set of users. The combination establishes a chain-of-trust founded on the unclonable keys established by the PUF and the authentication/certification protocols by user PKIs.

The image above, provided by Microsemi Corp., describes how the combination works:

  • A: Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) start-up values are used to compute a private key that has been made reliable with the aid of an "activation code" saved during the enrollment phase.
  • B: From the private key, a public key is computed and certified by the component manufacturer, giving each component a verifiable and globally unique unclonable identity.

Managing the ADAS-V2X-Automated Driving Challenge
"According to the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is running point on ADAS, V2Xand automated driving, the PUF/PKI option with its asymmetric key and the signature method is the most effective way to implement communications security and trusted messaging across a very large set of users," advised Arora. "The NHTSA notes that the V2X Certificate Authority issues many new anonymous, but trusted, certificates each year. In addition to securing the network, this PKI-based system also provides an easy-to-scale infrastructure to accommodate the expected ramping up of users and functionality."

"Efficiently managing the transition of the software into networks inside and outside of vehicles is another challenge the industry must meet," added Richter. "Software components in current architectures that feature strictly separated domains (e.g. chassis, power train, driver assistance, automation), each with its own ECU, will eventually transition to architectures that feature a small number of high-performance central processing units tethered to just one ECU."

Bottom line: New software functions, technologies, system architectures and integration options must be properly managed. Each must use secured, appropriate timing models to capture requirements and to analyze real-time capabilities at the system level. This will be the only way to safely realize and implement emerging and future ADAS, V2X and automated driving functionality reliably, safely and cost-effectively.

[Editor's note: Read MOTOR Magazine's August 2016 issue for the latest diagnostic and automotive service insights.]

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