Future Tech: Thales driving cybersecurity forward for connected cars

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Connected cars are a reality, most modern vehicles on the road nowadays have some form of connectivity to the open world. This raises important challenges on multiple software integration and cybersecurity.

To address this challenge, Thales, through its German company Sysgo, and Vector, the Stuttgart-based specialist for automotive embedded electronics founded a joint-venture to address the critical issue of multiple software managing multiple – often safety-critical – functions.

The volume and complexity of software used to manage virtually every aspect of a connected or autonomous vehicle, both mechanic and electronic, could bear a potential risk to people’s safety. Each software presents a potential attack surface for security breaches, which could affect the overall reliability of the vehicle. The aim of this partnership is to co-develop an integrated software platform for improved performance and cybersecurity.

“Cybersecurity and Safety Critical Systems are part of the Thales DNA. For us, this joint initiative with Vector and Sysgo is a natural step beyond what we already do for the automotive industry in cybersecurity services and consulting”, said Laurent Maury, Vice-President, Critical Information Systems and Cybersecurity, Thales.

Through this joint-venture, Thales and Vector will combine their respective embedded systems expertise in aviation safety and in automotive software according to ISO 26262 to offer a single platform to run the car’s software and applications. By simplifying the vehicle’s control systems they aim to strengthen its cyber-protection whilst ensuring the isolation of individual applications.

To achieve this, the two experts will co-develop the new platform by combining two pre-existing products: MICROSAR, Vector’s AUTOSAR* Adaptive basic software, and PikeOS, Sysgo’s real-time operating system. Through this integration, coupled with further co-development, Thales and Vector will provide the automotive industry with a single source solution.

Designed for the new generation of high-performance Electronic Control Units based on AUTOSAR Adaptive standard, a release of the joint solution for prototype applications is planned in 2018 and series releases for safety-relevant control units are planned for 2019.


TelecomDrive Bureau covers the latest developments happening in the space of communications, devices and innovations in targeted geographies of India, SAARC, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions.TelecomDrive Bureau is headed by Zia Askari. He can be reached at ziaaskari@telecomdrive.com