Singtel to develop cyber security solutions for self-driving vehicles with international partner

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

SINGAPORE - 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 on Monday (Jan 28).

Commercial and industrial autonomous vehicles 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, ST Kinetics, 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 common need - 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.

Once developed, the 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 the collaboration is looking at will not require vehicles to be recalled for software updates.

 

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

This would 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, a 10,000 square foot facility that opened in Singapore in 2016.

Researchers will be able to use resources available at the institute 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."

The announcement on Monday follows the launch of a 5G testing facility by Singtel, Singapore Polytechnic (SP) and Ericsson earlier this month .

The SP facility allows students to test their projects, including AVs that can map the perfect route to avoid traffic jams; surveillance drones that identify intruders using facial recognition; and robots that scale cranes to inspect for damage.

The push for an AV transport system in Singapore is part of the Smart Nation initiatives, which will also see changes in electronic payments and digital identity, among others.