Connectivity and digitalisation of motor vehicles: what is on the European horizon?

Speakers: Riemenschneider Rolf, Kisters Brigide, Moiseev Alexander, Sala Alessandro
Moderator: Robinson Frances

On Tuesday, 23rd of February 2016 PubAffairs Bruxelles hosted a debate on the theme of “Connectivity and Digitalisation of Motor Vehicles: What is on the European Horizon?” with Mr Rolf Riemenschneider, Head of sector, Internet of Things, DG CONNECT, Mrs Brigide Kisters, Transport Attaché, Permanent Representation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the EU, Mr Alexander Moiseev, European Managing Director, Kaspersky Lab, and Mr Alessandro Sala, Chief Information Security & ICT Compliance Officer, Ferrari. The event was moderated by Frances Robinson, Freelance Journalist.

Frances Robinson introduced the speakers and the theme of the debate and, before opening the discussion to the panel, she asked a yes/no question  of the public, namely: “Will the EU be a global leader in the domain of connected cars?”. The public replied with a show of hands. She then gave the floor to the discussants who could proceed to introduce themselves and give their preliminary remarks concerning the issues at stake.

Mr Riemenschneider began his intervention by describing the work that the Commission is conducting on the Internet of Things (IoT), which aims at making IoT a reality. As IoT includes the domains of smart-farming, smart-cities, as well as of connected and autonomous driving, the speaker  affirmed that the question of standards is of crucial importance and that every endeavour, innovation and relevant technical standard must be identified and addressed. The speaker concluded by affirming that integrating efforts and funding pilot projects are the two aspects of the European institutions’ work on IoT.

Mrs Kisters started her intervention with regard to connected and automated driving by describing the innovative approach, namely an approach of ‘learning by doing’, which has been adopted for several years now in the Netherlands where the automotive industry represents 50.000 jobs. She continued by agreeing with the  Commission that coordinating the needs of every stakeholder is not an easy task, while highlighting that technological innovation in the automotive sector was seized on as an opportunity also as a result of the Netherlands’ strong background in research. For these reasons, the government has started a dialogue with stakeholders, other member states and the Commission, with the purpose of exchanging experiences and best practices while establishing clear definitions and targets. On cross–border driving, Mrs Kisters concluded by highlighting that in April the Dutch Presidency is willing to reach  an agreement on the areas which need to be improved, while providing some guidelines on connected driving.

Mr Moiseev started his intervention by presenting the efforts of Kaspersky Lab and its technical expertise in cybersecurity. He clarified that the company has recently focussed its activities on both  banking and automotive industries. Mr Moiseev further touched upon the cooperation and partnership with Ferrari and stated that the interest in the automotive sector came from an ICT security point of view and that this question led Kaspersky Lab to perform a deep investigation into the cyber-threats of the automotive world. The speaker explained that the reaction of the automotive industry to the investigation has been mixed, with some players not acknowledging the risks that modern cars are and will be exposed to. Mr Moiseev  explained that cars will increasingly be exposed to hacking, as the example of phones is demonstrating, and further elaborated on the ICT domain threats by outlining how hackers are currently monetising their knowledge by freelancing for criminal and terrorist organisations. For these reasons in particular, Mr Moiseev said, we should consider the IoT not only in terms of opportunities, but also in terms of security threats. Mr Moiseev concluded his opening speech by stating that, with regard to short term security threats, Kaspersky is currently working on providing solutions to known security issues in cooperation, for example, with car manufacturers, while, with regard to long terms threats, Kaspersky is already in a dialogue with different critical infrastructure industries.

Mr Sala started his intervention by elaborating on the work of Ferrari in the area of ICT security and Ferrari’s cooperation with Kaspersky Lab which has opened investigations in a multitude of security concerns emerging from the automotive world. He agreed with Mrs Kisters that the topic of connected cars should be addressed by a cooperative approach as the exchange of questions and ideas is  beneficial for the creation of more advanced systems and products. He concluded his opening remarks by highlighting how the dialogue between the public and  private sector will gain further importance in the future.

A first point of discussion concerned the importance of standardisation in implementing the connectivity of motor vehicles.

Mr Riemenschneider stated that a cross-sectorial approach is inevitable  not only in order to guarantee the connectivity of vehicles, but also to develop successfully all domains of IoT. For this reason, the European industry had already agreed on the three basic pillars upon which these technological developments should be based namely, security, standards and infrastructure connectivity. He continued by stating that the issue of standardisation is often a thorny question when stakeholders gather together. He further added that, if we imagine that by the year 2020 there will be around 50 billion devices connected to the internet, it would be  imperative to provide for a reliable and secure infrastructure based on European-wide standards. Mr Riemenschneider reminded us that the set of actions undertaken by the EU institutions so far has aimed at bringing stakeholders together in order to agree on suitable standards. He also remarked that this process will require not only the involvement of all stakeholders through partnerships, such as in the example of the Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation (AIOTI), but also a deeper cross-sectorial cooperation. Furthermore, the question for appropriate testing, experimental pilots and EU member states cooperation are also of fundamental importance. With regard to protection, the speaker concluded by affirming that security should adopt a “by-design” approach at all levels involved, ranging from components and applications to the connection with the web. Mr Moiseev opened his intervention by stating that current network communications tools used by auto vehicles are based on security standards developed in the 1950s. As car connectivity is a relatively new phenomenon, the speaker explained that it is understandable that the development of new regulations is taking some time. He also pointed out some concrete examples of current law-binding ICT security standards for cars which make building cyber-protection protocols extremely complicated. In this regard, he agreed with Mr Riemenschneider that not only new standards, but also a new approach towards these matters is needed to foster successfully the development of connectivity and security of auto vehicles. Mrs Kisters suggested that it was important to have legislation which allows the testing of new standards as she believed in a process of learning-by-doing approach. As far as this domain was concerned, she stated that a “cutting the red tape” attitude is surely needed and remarked that EU member states should ensure innovative and testing-friendly legislation, foster research and effective cross-border cooperation. Mr Sala stated that it would be useful to determine a common and shared set of standard rules for procedures and compliance beyond the domain of connected cars for both manufactures and software developers in order to assure quality control and appropriate testing, ultimately for the benefit of the consumers. Such rules, the speakers explained, should then be applicable to all involved players also in order to create a pan-European model which can lead to greater international competitiveness as well as to growth and job creation within the EU.

A second point of discussion concerned the questions of infrastructures, security and liability.

Mr Moiseev stated that with the arrival of autonomous driving and the further integration of payment-based applications, immediate security patches are required. Furthermore, protection requirements would also have to be expanded to the entire infrastructure, such as factories and other physical systems, while the involvement of law enforcement agencies throughout this development process is fundamental. Mr Sala added that implementing the necessary security would require a holistic approach that covers the entire infrastructure, and compels  manufacturers to think in an expansive way in order to be able to determine possible side effects, while impeding threats deriving from third parties. Mrs Kisters stated that technological innovations will give rise to potential issues regarding the establishment of  judicial liability, and that, in this regard, EU member states in cooperation with the private sector should already start thinking how to best address such matters. Mr Riemenschneider added to this part of the discussion  that the Commission would like to open the service market for connected cars by engaging in an open cross-sectoral platform with private sector stakeholders in order to address data ownership and transfer issues, as well as every other matter that could in the future be pertinent to liability.

The final part of the debate, the Q&A session, also covered the following issues: smart mobility on a European level; the role of the telecommunications sector and 5G technology; access to data; the role of standards’ organizations; the role of competition law in the work of European institutions; the implementation of an appropriate telecommunications infrastructure; the role of the Juncker plan in the domain of telecoms.

Do you want to go further into the issues discussed in our debate? Check our list of selected sources which we have provided for you 

Action Plan for the Deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems

Directive 2010/40/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 July 2010 on the framework for the deployment of intelligent transport systems in the field of road transport and for interfaces with other modes of transport

Gunther H. Oettinger – Speech at ACEA: “The Connected Car”

Gunther H. Oettinger – 16 September 2015 Automated Driving

Transport Research and Innovation in Horizon 2020, European Commission – DG MOVE

The Internet of Things, European Commission, Digital Single Market

Public consultation on the evaluation and the review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services

Public consultation on the Priority ICT Standards Plan

Public consultation on the public-private partnership on cybersecurity and possible accompanying measures

C-ITS Platform Final Report -2016

Business Innovation Observatory- Internet of Things – Connected cars, European Commission

10 connected car questions for 2016, Automotive News

Autonomous driving takes back seat as connected car rules prepared, Euractiv

EU agency hones in on cybersecurity and connected cars

Kaspersky Lab – Website

Securelist, Information About Viruses, Hackers And Spam, Kaspersky Lab

This time, I’ll be bulletproof, Financial Times – Tech Blog

Ferrari – Official website

How Formula One technology improves your road car, Eurosport

Association of European Car Manufacturers (ACEA) – Research and Innovation

Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: the UK economic opportunity, Report, KPMG

Autonomous driving takes back seat as connected car rules prepared, Euractiv

EU gears up for Connected Vehicle Regulation but Longer Road Ahead for Autonomous Vehicles, CM LawNow

Powerful digital highways for Europe Connected and Automated Driving – ETNO