Connected cars: The road to security and flexibility

Connected cars are driving the IoT revolution. BI Intelligence expects 381 million connected cars to be on the road by 2020, up from 36 million in 2015. Total revenues generated throughout the same period are estimated to reach $ 8.1 trillion.

With such opportunity, however, comes the prospect of unprecedented security and logistical challenges. This article explores the development of the connected car market alongside these emerging challenges, before introducing a technology which is already delivering enhanced security and significantly reduced complexity across the globe.  

5G as an enabler

While mainstream technology and applications can already connect a single vehicle to an external cloud or server to deliver in-car services, it will be the emergence of new enabling communication technologies such as 5G that drives the exponential growth of connected car use cases. Offering higher bandwidth, ultra-reliable networks, lower latency and much faster connection speeds, 5G will be influential in bringing autonomous driving – alongside other diverse connected car applications – to the mass market.

Autonomous driving uses cases create new communication requirements for vehicles. Since human lives are at risk, autonomous vehicles must be consistently aware of, and able to interact with, their surroundings. This form of technology is called V2X (Vehicle to Everything) and encompasses V2I (Vehicle-to-Infrastructure), V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle), V2P (Vehicle-to-Pedestrian) and V2N (Vehicle-to-Network) communications.

Security challenges

For all connected car use cases, both ultra-reliable network connectivity and security – encompassing authentication, data integrity/authenticity and privacy – are critical success factors. Diverse and constantly evolving security challenges must be fully considered.

The threat posed by remote hijacking, for example, is profound – not least because of the increasing use of vehicles as a threat actor in terrorist attacks. Consequently, the need to authenticate the identity of the user, the car’s own network connection and devices connecting with the car is, quite literally, a matter of life and death.

Similarly, the adverse implications of data tampering, manipulation and spoofing cannot be overstated, particularly in the context of automated mobility where the transmission and receipt of inaccurate data could result in collisions and fatalities. For the same reasons, it is imperative that the authenticity and integrity of the software and firmware within a connected car is not compromised, and that both can be updated regularly – sometimes even immediately – to counter attacks in a rapidly evolving threat landscape.

Consideration must also be given to protecting the sensitive data collected and communicated by connected cars against interception by malicious third parties. In addition, the growing consumption of premium content via in-car entertainment systems presents the need for conditional access policies and systems.  

Overcoming logistical complexities

Besides these and other security considerations, car manufacturers are also faced with significant logistical complexities presented by connected car use cases.  Of critical importance is continuous network coverage, which enables a vehicle to continually interact with its environment at all times. 

Remote management capabilities are also required. The average age of a car on the road is currently 11.6 years, during which it will have approximately four owners. The result is that beyond the initial personalisation process, when a car is first sold, various updates and upgrades to mobile network operator profiles, software, firmware and applications will be necessary during its lifespan. 

With the rise in sensitive use cases and the growing volume of data generated and transmitted by connected cars, car manufacturers will increasingly need to navigate a complex and evolving regulatory landscape. A successful connected car ecosystem will require security solutions which can provide the necessary certifications and assurances to ensure compliance with regulation covering aspects such as data protection, safety and payments. In parallel, solutions must ensure continued alignment and compliance with existing quality control standards such as ISO/TS 16949, which applies to the design, development, production, installation and servicing of automotive-related products.

Finally, and for obvious reasons, connected vehicles must withstand a range of challenging environmental factors and demonstrate resilience against high-speed, high-force collisions without the loss of critical functionality, such as emergency calling.

The eUICC – a proven solution

While UICCs, also known as SIMs, are most commonly associated with mobile phone connectivity, the embedded UICC (also known as the eUICC or eSIM) is already being deployed in – and successfully delivering security and logistical benefits to – connected car deployments in various global markets. Offering an advanced, dynamic security solution, the eUICC also brings logistical advantages associated with remote provisioning and management and a soldered form factor. 

An eUICC refers to an embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC) which is capable of hosting multiple network connectivity profiles (as defined by GSMA, an industry association representing mobile network operators). It supports secure over-the-air (OTA) remote SIM provisioning as well as updates to the operating system (OS), keys, application and connectivity parameters, according to GSMA and GlobalPlatform (the standard for secure digital services and devices) specifications.

With 5G set to play a vital role in enabling future connected car use cases, the automotive industry is increasingly looking to leverage evolutions in cellular technology. The eUICC provides an instantly available, interoperable infrastructure which is already well established globally. It offers huge efficiencies in development and deployment costs and time to market.

The eUICC delivers the advanced security required by connected car deployments. It is built on the UICC platform, which is the most widely distributed and secure application delivery platform in the world (certifiable and specified by the GSMA). The eUICC is a tamperproof physical hardware SIM product with its own isolated processing power and data storage. The eUICC can either be soldered to the device or removed and it securely executes sensitive services.  Conforming to Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level (CC EAL) 4+, it offers the highest level of security assurance available. 

The inherent security of the eUICC is coupled with the significant advantages associated with OTA remote provisioning and management. As the mobile network operator profiles, software / firmware, and application updates and upgrades required over the course of a vehicle’s lifetime can be managed remotely, emerging security threats can be addressed in real-time, and significant logistical efficiencies can be found.

The growing role of the eUICC for connected cars

As car manufacturers and associated OEMs look to address the challenges posed by connected car use cases, the eUICC should be considered as a proven, highly secure solution which is available for immediate deployment. The eUICC is set to gain further prominence as the market continues to evolve, as from 2018 every new car in Europe will be connected to the mobile network via an eUICC to enable the mandatory eCall service.

For more detailed insight into the challenges facing the connected car market, and the value that eUICC technology can bring, download the SIMalliance eBook: ‘eUICC for: Connected cars’.

Read more: Autonomous vehicles: Three key use cases of advanced analytics shaping the industry

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Apple reclaims top spot in wearable band market after strong Q3

Apple has retaken the lead in the wearable band market thanks to the release of the Apple Watch Series 3, according to the latest industry figures from Canalys.

“Strong demand for the LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 has dispelled service providers’ doubts about the cellular smartwatch not appealing to customers,” said Jason Low, Canalys analyst, with the company adding that 800,000 Apple Watch units shipped in Q317 were cellular-enabled.

However, the release did face its set of setbacks as demand outpaced supply in major markets, thus hindering it from reaching its full potential in Q3. Low added: “In China, customers with high expectations are being driven away by the service disruption fiasco in the country. Besides bringing in more stock, operators should work on improving their remote service provisioning systems to cater for the expected higher demand in Q4/2017.”

Speaking about the trends in the smartwatch segment, Mo Jia, Canalys Research Analyst, said: “While health features continue to be the core focus, vendors are striving to increase the value of smartwatches by prioritising design and highlighting key features. Apple and Samsung are increasing user stickiness and brand loyalty by adopting an ecosystem strategy, which includes wearables and audio accessories. Smartphone vendors must re-evaluate their respective smartwatch strategies to derive more value beyond smartphone growth.”

With new smartwatches coming with enhanced health-tracking features, longer battery life, better and slimmer designs, vendors are anticipating stronger Q4/2017 performance for the market.

Analyst firm Tractica, in itS recently released report, “Wearable Device Market Forecasts”, predicted that the annual wearable device shipments will increase from 118 million units in 2016 to 430 million units by 2022, representing a CAGR of 24.1%. As per the report, by the end of 2022, smartwatches will have become the largest wearable device category, followed closely by fitness trackers and body sensors.

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Assessing a sustainable IoT future: Why security and connectivity barriers must be overcome

What will the connected world look like in 2030? According to a new report from Wipro Digital, a sustainable future will be achieved but only if certain barriers are conquered first.

The report, developed together by Wipro and non-profit organization Forum for the Future, found that although 98% of business leaders are sure that data and connectivity will contribute to a sustainable future, only 50% of them utilise them to support such efforts.

According to the study, the future vision for an IoT driven connectivity can be achieved when business leaders overcome some barriers associated with IoT, data and connectivity. Some of the barriers highlighted in the report include security risks and lack of necessary governance for artificial intelligence and IoT.

The business leaders industry experts surveyed for preparing the report have highlighted some concrete examples in which IoT, data and connectivity can help in driving a sustainable future. These examples include the use of technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality to help in understanding global challenges and empathising in situations that are distant from the individual; and use of data to inform and empower citizens to express their views and ideas to create the future of their dreams.

Jayraj Nair, VP and global head of IoT at Wipro Limited, said: "IoT, data and connectivity are changing the way we live and work – disrupting industries and reshaping the social landscape. To ensure these advances have a positive impact on the future, grow our economies and drive sustainable efforts, we must successfully and efficiently harness these technologies. The Vision 2030 report imagines a world where we can do just that, and offers suggestions on how to make those visions a reality."

Elsewhere, a report from Navigant Research projected that the global combined cumulative revenue for IIoT devices, software and services will surpass $ 1 trillion by 2027.

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Nicolas Windpassinger, Schneider Electric: On why culture trumps technology in IoT adoption

The Internet of Things (IoT) is coming into the enterprise; there is no doubt about that. The thought of the work executives have to undertake in their organisation to accommodate digital transformation is only eclipsed by the thought of what happens if their firm gets left behind. In other words, if you don’t digitize, you die.

Not this correspondent’s words – but those of Nicolas Windpassinger (pictured), global partner program vice president at Schneider Electric. His new book (left) offers little in the way of compromise. “The title is a good explanation that you need to change, you need to evolve, all of us, personally and professionally,” he tells IoT News. “If you don’t evolve or learn, you’ll die, and your competition is going to take care of you.”

The window of opportunity to take advantage of IoT, Windpassinger argues, is gradually shutting. But the problem has always been the lack of magic formula to make things work. If it were so easy, everyone would be doing it by now; we wouldn’t have to wear out shoe leather pounding round industry events, or reading every analyst report we can get our hands on.

For Windpassinger, this point of getting past the ‘you want to succeed, you need to be IoT’ one size fits all mentality is key. Companies – and company cultures – differ. “It’s very interesting,” he says. “If you go to an IoT event, you look at the startups, you look at the companies… they’re selling technology, but what are they solving? What is their core value proposition?

“Very often we say to succeed in the IoT you need to be a startup. Well the reality is that it’s not true, and there’s quite a bit of literature on that,” adds Windpassinger. “If you are a pioneer, and you have been very successful in your marketplace, it’s easier for big or medium-sized companies with a strong legacy of customers to digitize from the edge.

“Everybody talks about Uber – they’re always the same stories. They’re really the exception – if you look at the literature, a small company has a lot of difficulty to beat a well-established pioneer.”

Yes, there is no magic formula, no one page or sentence that enables organisations of all sizes just to flick a switch and ‘become IoT’. However, whatever the size of your organisation, as the book details, there are common steps that can be taken. The book outlines what it calls an IoT4 methodology, going through each section; how the IoT structures itself from a technology perspective; offering differentiation strategies; different business models; and transitioning from an analogue to a digital customer experience. If you don’t know the rules of the game, how can you expect to win, as the prologue puts it?

Don’t expect this book to be a tech-heavy trudge, though. This is for two reasons; firstly, anyone who has read such tomes knows the majority of the material is out of date by the time it hits the shelves; and secondly, because it’s difficult to predict how the market – particularly though standardisation – will go.

On the standards issue, Windpassinger recounts being at an industry event a couple of weeks ago, and the impression was clear. “You look at all those standards, it’s just crazy,” he says. “Everybody is designing their alliance, or their ecosystem based on their specific use case, or based on [something else]… since there is no global standard, everybody teams up.

“Is it going to last like this? Are some of the consortia going to team up and try to go for these global standards? Honestly, I don’t really know, and I don’t think anyone on the market really knows where it’s going to go.”

Neither is Digitize or Die a guide to help organisations sort out their customer value proposition – the book assumes companies already have that bit tied down – but where the book excels is around giving examples of companies who have successfully digitised, alongside companies who failed, as well as how the cultural side, instead of the technological focus, remains a key theme.

“The middle management is key to successful or unsuccessful digital transformation,” says Windpassinger. “It’s an education book for the middle management – or the top leaders who can use the book towards their middle management to initiate change.

“The core idea of the book is really that digital transformation is a people transformation more than a technology transformation, and to be able to initiate change at the management level, it’s about educating those people, creating a sense of urgency amongst them, and be able to explain to them,” he adds. “Yes, it’s a threat, yes, it’s a struggle, we as a company can choose not to do anything, but in a couple of years it’s going to be very difficult, or we consider that we need to transform ourselves as a company – and this begins by educating people about the different options.”

Editor’s note: You can find out more about Digitize or Die and purchase it here. All benefits from the book will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association and Fondation de France.

Read more: Digitize or Die book extract: The importance of leadership and middle management for IoT

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Autonomous vehicles: Three key use cases of advanced analytics shaping the industry

Driven by analytics, the culture of the automobile, including conventional wisdom about how it should be owned and driven is changing. Case in point, take the evolution of the autonomous vehicle. Already, the very notion of what a car is capable of is being radically rethought based on specific analytics use cases, and the definition of the ‘connected car’ is evolving daily.

Vehicles can now analyse information from drivers and passengers to provide insights into driving patterns, touch point preferences, digital service usage, and vehicle condition, in virtually real time. This data can be used for a variety of business-driven objectives, including new product development, preventive and predictive maintenance, optimised marketing, up selling, and making data available to third parties. It’s not only powering the vehicle itself, but completely reshaping the industry.

By using a myriad of sensors to inform decisions traditionally made by human operatives, analytics is completely reprogramming the fundamental areas of driving – perception, decision making and operational information. In this article, we discuss a few of the key analytics-driven use cases that we are likely to see in the future as this category, (ahem) accelerates.

The revolution of driverless vehicles

Of course, in the autonomous vehicle, the major aspect missing is the driver, traditionally the eyes and ears of the journey. Replicating the human functions is one of the major ways in which analytics is shaping the industry. Based on a series of sensors, the vehicle gathers data on nearby objects, like their size and rate of speed and categorises them based on how they are likely to behave. Combined with technology that is able to build a 3D map of the road, it helps it then to form a clear picture of its immediate surroundings.

Now the vehicle can see, but it requires analytics to react and progress accordingly taking into account the other means of transportation in the vicinity, for instance. By using data to understand perception, analytics is creating a larger connected network of vehicles that are able to communicate with each other. In making the technology more and more reliable, self-driving vehicles have the potential to eventually become safer than human drivers and replace those in the not so distant future. In fact, a little over one year ago, two self-driving buses were trialed on the public roads of Helsinki, Finland, alongside traffic and commuters. It was the first trials of its kind with the Easymile EZ-10 electric mini-buses, capable of carrying up to 12 people.

Artificial intelligence driving the innovation and decision making

In the autonomous vehicle, one of the major tasks of a machine learning algorithm is continuous rendering of environment and forecasting the changes that are possible to these surroundings. Indeed, the challenge facing autonomous means of transportation is not so much capturing the world around them, but making sense of it. For example, a car can tell when a pedestrian is ready to cross the street by observing behavior over and over again. Algorithms can sort through what is important, so that the vehicle will not need to push the brakes every time a small bird crosses its path.

That is not say we are about to become obsolete. For the foreseeable future, human judgement is still critical and we’re not at the stage of abandoning complex judgement calls to algorithms. While we are in the process of ‘handing over’ anything that can be automated with some intelligence, complex human judgement is still needed. As times goes on, Artificial (AI) ‘judgement’ will be improved but the balance is delicate – not least because of the clear and obvious concerns over safety.

How can we guarantee road safety?

Staying safe on the road is understandably one of the biggest focuses when it comes to automated means of transportation. A 2017 study by Deloitte found that three-quarters of Americans do not trust autonomous vehicles. Perhaps this is unsurprising as trust in new technology takes time – it took many years before people lost fear of being rocketed through the stratosphere at 500 mph in an aeroplane.

There can, and should, be no limit to the analytics being applied to every aspect of autonomous driving – from the manufacturers, to the technology companies, understanding each granular piece of information is critical. But, it is happening. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are asking people worldwide how they think a robot car should handle such life-or-death decisions. Its goal is not just for better algorithms and ethical tenets to guide autonomous vehicles, but to understand what it will take for society to accept the vehicles and use them.

Another big challenge is determining how long fully automated vehicles must be tested before they can be considered safe. They would need to drive hundreds of millions of miles to acquire enough data to demonstrate their safety in terms of deaths or injuries. That’s according to an April 2016 report from think tank RAND Corp. Although, only this month, a mere 18 months since that report was released, professor Amnon Shashua, Mobileye CEO and Intel senior vice president, announced the company has developed a mathematical formula that reportedly ensures that a "self-driving vehicle operates in a responsible manner and does not cause accidents for which it can be blamed."

Transforming transportation and the future

In many industries, such as retail, banking, aviation, and telecoms, companies have long used the data they gather from customers and their connected devices to improve products and services, develop new offerings, and market more effectively. The automotive industry has not had the frequent digital touch points to be able to do the same. The connected vehicle changes all that.

Data is transforming the way we think about transportation and advanced analytics has the potential to make driving more accessible and safe, by creating new insights to open up new opportunities . As advanced analytics and AI become the new paradigm in transportation, the winners will be those who best interpret the information to create responsive, learning, and connected vehicles capable of making autonomous vehicles as simple as getting from A to B.

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