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Autonomous and Connected Vehicles (CAV): Cyber Security Perspective S&T43

  • School: School of Science and Technology
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Starting: 2022
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Fully-funded


NTU's Fully-funded PhD Studentship Scheme 2022

Project ID: S&T43

Future vehicles are no longer stand-alone transportation medium due to the increasing advancements on Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications. The Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) are aimed towards sustainable developments in transportation by enhancing safety as well as efficiency. The sensor enabled intelligent automation of vehicle’s mechanical operations enhance safety in on-road travelling whereas, cooperative traffic information sharing in vehicular network improves travelling efficiency.

However, safety and efficiency-oriented sustainability in transportation via Internet of connected Vehicles (IoV) comes with greater risk of virtual vehicle hijacking. Ranging from unauthorized accessing of wheels, disabling brakes, locking doors, engine disruption to path forging, location and identity manipulation, denial of traffic service, tracking, are the few examples virtual vehicle hijacking. We have witnessed security threat in computer networks in terms of unauthorized system and application hijacking in greater scale targeting particular individual, specific organization or even entire systems of a country. So, there is also necessity to prepare for a virtual vehicle hijacking in CAV, concerning the reliable, ubiquitous and seamless CAV communications.
Due to the increasing automation on vehicles enabling via sensor and vehicular communication advancements, operational security in connected vehicles has emerged as a potential technical issue in vehicular network environments. Some of the research questions for securing CAV environment are as follows:

  • How to provide a solution for a hijacking scenario, from autonomous connected vehicle to disconnected mechanical machine?
  • How to ensure the integrity of accumulated traffic information from neighbouring vehicles?
  • How to avoid identity theft on vehicular communication system and GPS tracking?
  • What are the implications in implementing cryptographic security on vehicular networks considering ad-hoc vehicular networking scenario?
  • What are the non-cryptographic security mechanisms suitable for ad-hoc vehicular network environments?

The current challenges on CAV are due to the difficulties in technical migration of protocols, techniques and standards from static wireless communication to highly mobile vehicular communication environments. In this project, newer modelling, and practice for securing connected vehicles will be explored. The following fundamental research design steps will be undertaken:

  • Qualitative literature review on the security modelling and planning for ultra-dense vehicular network in CAV
  • Comprehensive modelling of the threat vectors associated in CAV and their relationships with wireless security standards
  • Developing a novel lightweight cryptographic security framework considering the dynamic nature of CAV with simulated vehicle hijacking environment
  • Experimental evaluation of the framework utilizing the traffic network data obtained from industrial partners including CleanCar and Franklin Energy.

The supervisory team consists of Director of Studies Dr Omprakash Kaiwartya and Co-Supervisors Professor Eiman Kanjo (NTU), Professor Raj Ranjan (University of Newcastle) and Dr Mamun Rashid (Cardiff University).

School strategic research priority

This project aligns with Computing and Informatics Research Centre (CIRC) and Network Infrastructure & Cyber Security.

Entry qualifications

For the eligibility criteria, visit our studentship application page.

How to apply

For guidance and to make an application, please visit our studentship application page. The application deadline is Friday 14 January 2022.

Fees and funding

This is part of NTU's 2022 fully-funded PhD Studentship Scheme.

Guidance and support

Download our full applicant guidance notes for more information.

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