University of Nevada and Filament developing CAV blockchain technology


Developer of distributed ledger technology (DLT) Filament and the University of Nevada at Reno (UNR) are partnering on a smart city mobility initiative using blockchain technology to attest autonomous vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications and improve safety. 

Filament, a provider of comprehensive enterprise blockchain solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT), is working with the UNR’s Intelligent Mobility initiative to develop a new standard based on blockchain IoT technology for attested data integrity between autonomous vehicles and roadside infrastructure.

The smart city project is being conducted through the university’s Nevada Center for Applied Research (NCAR) and is designed to improve safety and communication between connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and surrounding infrastructure with lidar and dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) devices mounted at intersections.

The university will begin simulated testing of Filament’s Blocklet technology, with plans to soon integrate the technology into both an autonomous vehicle and the sensor infrastructure placed along defined routes to deliver a trustworthy record of events, enabling attested data exchange via blockchain transactions.

The state of Nevada, with the support and commitment of its research universities, industries and startups, has established itself as a premier location for innovative vehicle and transportation technologies. Supported by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the UNR’s Intelligent Mobility is testing synchronized mobility concepts and gathering data in real-world, Living Lab settings.

A V2I communication project demonstrating the security of data sent to and from autonomous vehicles and street-side infrastructure using blockchain technology is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019. Filament’s Blocklet blockchain technology will enable UNR researchers to securely process and record transactions directly from roadside IoT devices, secure RFID tags, and CAVs, ensuring ‘digital trust’ from the edge of the communications network.

“The growth in the number of connected vehicles on roads will lead to an increase in the number of IoT devices, which can potentially create vulnerabilities,” explained Carlos Cardillo, director of the NCAR at UNR. “Working with Filament as part of our Intelligent Mobility initiative will help us to create and validate secured data generated from the many connected lidar devices including those in autonomous vehicles that will soon be a common feature in our cities and towns. We believe this can result in a new set of data integrity standards that others can follow when rolling out their own initiatives.”

Filament’s CEO, Allison Clift-Jennings, commented, “We are excited to collaborate with the university’s Intelligent Mobility initiative on advancing this cutting-edge vehicle-to-infrastructure communication innovation. This is an important project for all cities preparing for autonomous vehicles as it will demonstrate how secure distributed ledger technology combined with connected, driverless cars and their surroundings can become a trusted reality.

“For the project, the university’s test vehicles will accept only Blocklet-attested data transmissions, protecting them from potential bad actors or man-in-the-middle attacks. And with the data recorded on a blockchain, the shared root of trust is established for transparent exchange and transactions.”

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