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Image: PRNewsfoto/Elektrobit (EB)

Elektrobit, a subsidiary of Continental, has announced a modular solution for safe and secure updating of connected and automated vehicle fleets. EB cadian Sync establishes a secure end-to-end communication channel for over-the-air (OTA) updates to a vehicle’s ECUs as well as to head units and infotainment systems.

Created in partnership with Argus Cyber Security, EB cadian Sync is said to cover a vehicle’s entire lifecycle. It gives consumers the chance to activate upgrades and functionalities over time in cars pre-fitted with the necessary hardware, and OTA updates can be carried out when a car is not in use. It comprises a modular user interface (UI) portal for software management from the Elektrobit (EB) back end services, and is hardware-agnostic: it can be operated on an automakers’ preferred infrastructure.

Andreas Heim, executive VP for products and innovations at Elektrobit, explained in a statement: “Consumers demand innovation, flexibility and data protection. With secure over-the-air updates, EB cadian Sync gives carmakers more control over their fleet, and drivers more control over their individual driving experience, opening up new possibilities for the carmaker-driver relationship.”

Werner Koestler, head of strategy, interior division, Continental, added: "Just as brakes are imperative for safe driving, connected vehicles require state-of-the-art cyber security as a basic feature. Therefore, we have decided to offer end-to-end cyber security solutions from Argus and Elektrobit in all of our connected vehicle electronics and as a standalone solution for third party products."

For the Continental products, EB will provide consultation and offer security components for the application layer; hardware-specific security products; and Autosar (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) basic software and security solutions for bootloader (code that loads an operating system). Argus provides additional real-time protection against cyberattacks through its Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDPS) deployed in the in-vehicle network, Connectivity Protection for telematic and infotainment units, and Lifespan Protection for monitoring and analysis by OEMS and fleet managers. EB cadian Sync can step in to install software patches cross-fleet if security issues are detected.

“Our multi-layered approach is an end-to-end offering for automotive cyber security, from the development of new products and ongoing monitoring, to the ability to resolve vulnerabilities via over-the-air updates to immunize the fleet from further attacks,” Koestler added. Continental is also developing control units for more conventional vehicle computing architectures, such as its Gateway, which acts as a router: this integrates security technologies from Argus, and basic over-the-air and diagnostic solutions from EB.

-Farah Alkhalisi