Coventry University and Applus+ IDIADA host a fellowship from the Royal Academy of Engineering

Wednesday 13 October 2021

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Coventry University’s Centre for Future Transport and Cities (CFTC) and UK division of Barcelona-based Applus+ IDIADA are hosting an 18-month industrial fellowship from the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng). The fellowship will focus on the engineering of safe and cybersecure vehicle platoons.

‘Platooning’ means that driverless vehicles linked together operate as one unit. The technique could offer several benefits to the sector, including fuel economy, improved safety or reduction of congestion. However, before being deployed on public roads, research and a number of tests of the technologies need to be undertaken.

The application made by David Evans, cybersecurity lead at Applus+ IDIADA, has been awarded the RAEng Fellowship. The team composed of members of both organisations will start working on the project in October 2021.

At CAVWAY, Applus+ IDIADA’s facilities in Oxfordshire, the team will look at replicating daily life scenarios to interfere and disrupt the platoon in a controlled, safe and secure setting. CFTC’s Systems Security Group (SSG) expertise in cybersecurity, as well as in connected autonomous and automotive research, will be key to the project.

The fellowship will explore the engineering of safe and cybersecure vehicle platoons. This will include assessing the robustness of the security, enhancing the communication between the vehicles and maximising their resilience. The unit will be equipped with communication technologies (V2X), enabling them to share collective information, and automated vehicle systems, which allows them to form and drive the platoon itself.

SSG will focus on an on-road platooning testbed to support experimentation on security and resilience involving the use of the group’s two StreetDrone vehicles, which are both equipped with C-V2X capability for V2V communications. This capability allows for vehicles to enable data-flow and control-flow for coordination.

I am very happy that we are working closely with industry on such opportunities for automotive cybersecurity capability development. This work will combine both industry advances on on-road testing and research capability to support more complex trials, alongside enhancing our understanding of on-road security and resilience.

Professor Siraj Shaikh, Centre Director for the Centre for Future Transport and Cities (CFTC)

Find out more about the Centre for Future Transport and Cities.