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Should car-to-car talk be mandatory?

Posted: 22 Sep 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:V2V  ADAS  DSRC 

The report cited FAA air traffic controllers and military operations as examples. Interacting parties are known to one another as trusted sources or can be identified as such. Furthermore, they rely on secure or private data networks. By contrast, the Internet and wireless systems that allow online shopping and financial transactions offer easy accessibility to millions of users.

But here's the issue. The NHTSA report says that no networks existing today can meet the required level of privacy protection. Financial organisations have pre-existing agreements with the Certificate Authority (CA), so user identity resides within databases and is typically used as part of the authentication process.

In many ways, the NHTSA feels that it had no choice but to make the proposed V2V security framework far more complex than any other model for the sake of privacy protection. What's needed is a secure authentication framework that still guarantees anonymity.

4. Security Credential Management System

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Current V2V security system design for deployment and operations. (Source: NHTSA)

At the heart of V2V communications sits the Security Credential Management System (SCMS). Its basic functions authorise and revoke certification. Industry sources describe the SCMS as "a complex, distributed system." The Certificate Authority and Misbehavior Authority are part of the SCMS.

The NHTSA report said no human judgement is involved in creating, granting, or revoking digital certificates. "The functions are performed automatically by processors in the various V2V components, including the OBE in the vehicle."

The role of personnel within the SCMS is to manage the overall system, protect and maintain the computer hardware and facilities, update software and hardware, and address unanticipated issues.

Who will manage the SCMS remains unknown. Carlson said there are three options:

  1. A public entity only
  2. A private entity only
  3. A public-private partnership

Since the NSA scandal heightened public suspicion of the government, the smart bet is that a private entity is likely to get the job. But the architecture that the NHTSA is planning for this SCMS is huge. Industry analysts say the deal will go to a giant like IBM, Cisco, or Science Applications International Corp. in San Diego.

"Whoever has got the money to do it" will get the contract, Juliussen said. If a private entity gets the job, even though it will be handling anonymised data, it may expect to monetise that data.

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