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O2 and partners develop cybersecurity ‘blueprint’ for self-driving cars


Telefónica-owned O2 has completed a project to advance the development of cybersecurity testing capabilities for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).

The 12-week-long Baselining, Automation and Response for CAV Testbed (BeARCAT) cybersecurity project was funded by Innovate UK, the UK government-backed innovation agency, and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CCAV).

O2’s cybersecurity experts were responsible for determining the types of cyber-attack and attackers that pose a threat to CAV networks. Their investigation focused on developing models that could be used to classify, manage and mitigate cybersecurity risks to cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) networks and intelligent transport systems at 5GHz.

Other participants included Cisco, which led the project, vehicle-testing facility Millbrook Proving Ground and Warwick Manufacturing Group, the engineering, manufacturing and technology department at the University of Warwick.


After the feasibility study, the consortium has put a series of recommendations to Innovate UK. These could form the basis of a future cybersecurity CAV test facility.
Brendan O’Reilly, CTO at O2, said, “If connected and autonomous vehicles are going to become a permanent fixture in our day-to-day lives, it will be critical that governments and the public feel reassured that this technology is secure from cyber-attacks.

“We’re proud to have worked alongside other sector leaders to create a cybersecurity blueprint that will help the UK lead the way when it comes to innovation in the intelligent transportation systems of the future.”
In September 2019, O2 announced that it would provide the connectivity for a new ‘smart ambulance’ at Millbrook Proving Ground as part of a trial related to patient diagnosis and early treatment.