Connected Car
May 8, 2017

New ITU work stream to develop security standards for connected cars

By ITU News

ITU has established a new work stream to coordinate the development of security standards for intelligent transport systems (ITS).

ITS and automated driving hold great promise to improve road safety, reduce congestion and emissions, and increase the accessibility of personal mobility. Security will be a key determinant of the reliability and safety of ITS technologies and their success in gaining users’ trust.

The new work stream will be led by ITU’s standardization expert group responsible for building confidence and security in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), ITU-T Study Group 17.

Known formally as ‘Question 13/17’, the work stream will be chaired by Sang-Woo Lee of Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute and co-chaired by Seungwook Park of Hyundai Motors.

“Standardization will be essential in building a trusted ecosystem of intelligent vehicles,” said Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “ITU standardization work is supporting the increasing integration of ICTs in vehicles with road safety and data security as our top priorities.”

“In the ITS environment, the security vulnerabilities of one connected vehicle can come to affect the larger ecosystem of connected vehicles,” said Heung Youl Youm, Chairman of ITU-T Study Group 17. “Common technical standards will help industry to ensure that required levels of security are common to all cars on the road.”

Experts contributing to the work of Question 13/17 will identify threats to ITS security and user privacy, developing a comprehensive set of ITS security standards in response.

This work will analyze security mechanisms, protocols and technologies to identify solutions with potential to form part of international ITS security standards. The resulting standards will range from overarching ITS security architectures to more targeted standards tailored to the requirements and use cases of specific ITS services and applications.

Connected vehicles’ movements and associated changes to their surrounding environment will call for Question 13/17 to provide efficient encryption and decryption algorithms, algorithms capable of accommodating fast-moving network nodes and dynamic network topologies.

Question 13/17 will standardize identification and authentication schemes for ITS services and applications, building on ITU-T Study Group 17’s expertise in Identity Management.

In view of identified threats to user privacy, Question 13/17 will develop privacy protection and management schemes within the framework of ITU’s standardization work on the protection of ‘personally identifiable information’.

For more detailed information on the objectives of the work stream, see the Question 13/17 Terms of Reference.

ITU assistance to the automotive industry

ITU provides common technical platforms to assist the automotive industry in achieving its ICT ambitions.

The ITU World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 allocated radio-frequency spectrum in the 79 GHz frequency band to the operation of short-range, high-resolution automotive radar.

ITU standards provide specifications for radiocommunications between cars and infrastructure, as well as tests to assess the performance of mobile phones when connected as gateways to vehicles’ hands-free systems.

An ITU standard for secure over-the-air software updates to connected cars was approved in March 2017, and a new ITU standard is under development to provide security guidelines for ‘V2X’ communications such as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications.

ITU continues to see key results emerging from its collaboration with the UNECE Transport Division, the body responsible for global vehicle regulations. The new global regulation on vehicle emergency calls, ‘Automatic Emergency Call Systems’, will reference an ITU voice-quality performance standard.

The annual ITU-UNECE Symposium on the Future Networked Car within the Geneva International Motor Show brings together key players in the ICT and automotive industries to present their latest intelligent-transport innovations.

Watch the wrap-up video of the 2017 symposium to learn more about the status and future of ITS.

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