Ricardo and Roke to collaborate on next-generation cybersecurity for CAVs


Engineering consultancy Ricardo and Roke Manor Research have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop solutions that will make connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) more robust against cyberattacks.

Providing and ensuring cybersecurity is a fundamental requirement if the benefits of future CAVs are to be fully realized. Many current vehicles are already connected to the internet and cellular networks for a variety of reasons, including: telematics and maintenance; safety systems, such as eCall; drivers using insurance-based monitoring technology; and many smartphone apps for infotainment and navigation.

With the increasing CAV content being included within new vehicles, including aspects of vehicle control through advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), and ultimately, fully autonomous vehicle technologies, the potential vulnerabilities to cyberthreats will increase significantly.

Ricardo’s position as a leader in mobility technology and innovation, combined with Roke’s 60 plus years of experience in cybersecurity for government and commercial clients, will combine to allow for a one-stop shop in designing cyber secure systems and infrastructure for the automotive sector.

The two companies are already partners on the UK 5StarS project, which aims to develop a 5-star type consumer rating framework for automotive cybersecurity, analogous to existing EuroNCAP type ratings for vehicle safety. Under the terms of the new MoU, Ricardo and Roke will contribute additional resources in parallel to their efforts under the 5StarS project, to develop joint product and service opportunities, building upon the synergies of their combined capabilities.

“A new approach to CAV technology design and implementation is essential. From infotainment, maintenance and navigation, to vehicle-to-vehicle systems for fully autonomous driving, [they]all provide a potential opportunity for malicious hacking attack,” explained David Cole, managing director of Roke.

“The key is to design the security into the product, right from the start. This avoids having to ‘plug gaps’ later. Our partnership with Ricardo means that we can rapidly develop news tools, processes, and assurance schemes, which will allow consumers to have confidence in their new, smarter vehicles.”

Ricardo’s CEO, Dave Shemmans, added, “I am pleased that we have been able to conclude this MoU with Roke Manor Research. Through this partnership, our two companies are jointly demonstrating a commitment to delivering world-class solutions that leverage future technology and innovation, while also ensuring the highest standards of safety and cybersecurity.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).