Singtel, Argus to develop cyber-security solutions for self-driving vehicles

Telco Singtel will work with a global leader in automotive cyber-security - Argus Cyber Security - to create a secure ecosystem to position Singapore at the forefront of connected and autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies, the firms announced yesterday.

Commercial and industrial AVs are increasingly becoming a reality here.

From 2022, residents of Punggol, Tengah and the Jurong Innovation District will be the first in Singapore to ride driverless vehicles.

A number of organisations, including ST Engineering, the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, are running their AVs through a battery of tests.

Meanwhile, self-driving car start-up nuTonomy is pushing to become the first in the world to roll out a driverless taxi system.

They all share a need for a safe cyber environment to operate in.

In a joint release, Singtel and Argus announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work on solutions to bolster cyber security in the field of connected cars and self-driving vehicles.

The developed solutions can be applied to other countries as well.

A platform developed by Argus - which has offices in Tel Aviv, Michigan, Silicon Valley, Stuttgart and Tokyo - will collect, correlate and analyse data from vehicles, mobile applications, cellular networks, cloud platforms and other sources.

The data will provide clues if a vehicle is facing a cyber attack, and allow for the attack to be blocked.

Singtel told The Straits Times that the solutions will not require vehicles to be recalled for software updates.

Instead, in the event of a cyber threat, an original equipment manufacturer or fleet manager can issue an over-the-air update to change the software in the vehicles and immunise them from attacks.

This would also minimise downtime for the fleet.

Singtel chief executive officer of group enterprise Bill Chang said: "With a secure ecosystem, automobile manufacturers and automotive equipment providers can safely collaborate and develop advanced solutions for commercial and industrial autonomous vehicles."

Singtel and Argus will be conducting research and development at the Singtel Cyber Security Institute, which opened in Singapore in 2016, to put the solutions they have developed through rigorous testing and prototyping.

Mr Ofer Ben-Noon, co-founder and chief executive officer of Argus, said: "This partnership is another important leap forward towards delivering multi-layered security solutions and services that make mobility intelligent and secure - in Singapore and around the world."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 29, 2019, with the headline Singtel, Argus to develop cyber-security solutions for self-driving vehicles. Subscribe