Research Project

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Cybersecurity Best Practices for Integration/Retrofit of Telematics and Aftermarket Electronic Systems into Heavy Vehicles

Goal:

To develop a set of best practices and guidelines focused on minimizing cyber risks for aftermarket electronic systems intended for use in the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) industry.

Background:

Heavy vehicle fleet operators routinely integrate a variety of aftermarket electronic systems into the trucks and buses they operate. Such systems include telematics units, navigation, infotainment, vehicle diagnostics, cargo monitoring and vehicle anti-theft systems, as well as a variety of driver monitoring, crash avoidance and other systems that may aid in compliance or operation of the vehicle. Often, these devices and systems are integrated into the vehicle’s electrical architecture including potential linkages with the vehicle’s CAN databus, driver display systems, or other electronic sub-systems on the vehicle.  Further, the aftermarket/telematic devices themselves will often incorporate a wireless or wired connection, (or perhaps a manual input interface) that allows for connecting the device to its intended interface entity. Such interfaces, with their integration into the vehicle’s electronic systems, offer a potential cyber vulnerability or a “point of entry” that may allow “bad actors” to gain access first to the aftermarket system, and then subsequently to the vehicle’s control sub-systems, including driver interface, braking, throttle and or steering systems. Such connections may possibly be “hacked” to allow malicious attacks such as retrieving propriety data stored on the vehicle, or creating congestion on the vehicle networks such that normal and safe operation of the vehicle is compromised.  As telematic and related aftermarket electronic devices and systems continue to proliferate the heavy vehicle marketplace, such cyber threats are of a growing concern to NHTSA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and the heavy vehicle industry.

Summary:

For this project, the contractor will build on the heavy vehicle cyber research already completed by NHTSA to more narrowly focus on cyber threats and vulnerabilities associated with the integration and use of a variety of aftermarket and telematic systems intended for heavy vehicle application. The output of this research will be a set of best practices and guidelines for both the design and integration of aftermarket electronic systems focused on minimizing cyber risks. To this extent, the output of this work may be used by both the suppliers of such systems as well as by end users.

Outcomes:

Final report, including findings from a market study, literature review, and recommendations for cybersecurity best practices.
 

Milestones:

Completed:

October 2017: Kick-off meeting.
January 2018: Revised work plan.
March 2018: Mid-project briefing.
August 2018: Draft final report due.
September 2018: Final briefing.

Funding:

FY17 Funding: $150,000

Contractor:

Software Engineering Institute/Carnegie Mellon

Project Manager:

For more information, contact Jon Mueller of the Technology Division at (202) 366-9409 or jon.mueller@dot.gov.
Updated: Tuesday, January 9, 2018
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