ERTICO’s thought leaders are often protagonists at Europe’s most important events in the ITS world. Now, it’s the turn of Jim Beveridge to discuss the topic on everyone’s lips: 5G.

Following the wave of interest generated at the ITS World Congress, Jim Beveridge, ERTICO’s expert on 5G and blockchain took part in the expert panel at 5G Techritory, a high level conference organised by the Latvian Government in Riga, Latvia.

Attended by innovators, business persons, investors and legislators, the aim of this event was to discuss the establishment of a common ground amongst key actors in the field of 5G technologies and to discuss the various challenges involved in implementing 5G networks that support the roadmap on Smart Mobility.

Mr. Beveridge outlined the issues surrounding 5G technology applied to Autonomous Vehicles and security. This includes issues related to cyber-attacks threatening the chips powering the autonomous car to network vulnerabilities and managing the protection of the electronic modules in the vehicle.

His overall view, however, on the deployment of 5G in support of a Smart Mobility roadmap is positive and he believes it is important to acknowledge that progress that has been made in relation to cyber-attacks. He pointed out the support that the semiconductor industry has given to the automotive industry for decades, to counter threats.

The car of the future, in addition to enjoying 5G connectivity, will have to cope with a wide range of networks (2G,3G,4G,5G, Lora, WiFi). The more wireless networks the car is connected to, the greater the potential attack surface and of course the greater the challenge of protection. However, with the introduction of automation, alternative solutions such as Google’s Zero Touch Network or Juniper’s Self Drive networks that protect the core networks are available. “This protection is moving from the core networks to the radio access network”, said Mr Beveridge, who then continued “We can expect specialist security services to be offered to the transportation sector.”

ERTICO’s expert also focussed on the challenge of protecting electronic modules in the car. “Autonomous Vehicles can have upwards of 40 electronic modules that are essentially computers. These computers will need to be updated with firmware, their operating systems will have to be patched against system vulnerabilities and new application will have to be loaded. This will all have to be done using state of the art cryptography”, he said. Remaining questions are who will take responsibility for the updates, manage the secure keys required for authentication and the entire train of trust, or who will pay out when something goes wrong or data is breached. Will it be the car producer, the leasing company, the network provider or the insurance company?

Despite the questions that remain, Mr Beveridge said that “The future for 5G, as demonstrated by the eager Conference participants, has great potential”, said Mr Beveridge. “This session on Wireless Communication for Vehicle Safety and Automated Driving with fellow participants from Nokia, Bite Group and ERTICO Partner TNO demonstrated the tremendous potential for the technology without glossing over the thorny issues that need to be tackled on the road to success”.

The next event where ERTICO’s thought leaders will initiate discussion on new solutions for smarter and more connected mobility is Fleet Live 2018 on the 9 and 10 October in Birmingham, UK Our expert Piia Karjalainen will speak about MaaS and how it will affect the market surrounding fleet management and change the role of fleets.

Stay tuned!