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Thatcham Research welcomes 5StarS’ consultation on new vehicle cybersecurity rating scheme

Press release   •   Apr 10, 2019 12:41 BST

5StarS Vehicle Diagram

A consultation between 5StarS and the automotive industry on a new vehicle cybersecurity rating scheme has been welcomed by Thatcham Research.

The consortium, a UK government funded project, which brings together key research bodies (HORIBA MIRA, Ricardo, Roke, Axillium Research and Thatcham Research) to address the increased cybersecurity threat around connected and autonomous vehicles, has released a consultation paper to seek feedback from automotive manufacturers, government and insurers to ensure the framework can be adopted.

Richard Billyeald, Chief Technical Officer at Thatcham Research, said: “The 5StarS consortium aims to introduce a new system of star ratings for the security of autonomous cars against cyber-attacks, like Euro NCAP’s ratings for the crash safety of cars. This framework is ultimately designed to give UK consumers transparency around a car’s potential cybersecurity risk.

“Car security, specifically cybersecurity, is a huge concern for consumers and insurers, particularly as new digital technologies can leave cars vulnerable to attack. The 5StarS system will inform consumers and insurers what potential risk this connectivity has, as well as encourage car manufacturers to continually strive to improve car security.”

The arrival of Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is adding to the discussion around vehicle technology and its impact on road safety. Manufacturers must have proven, built-in safeguards and resilience against the emerging threat of cyber-attacks.

The 5StarS assurance framework, outlined in the consultation paper, will enable manufacturers to gain assurance in their products, use resilience as a market differentiator and establish meaningful ways of communicating cybersecurity risk to consumers.

The paper provides a roadmap to increasing assurance, which starts by meeting the requirements of the emerging regulations and standards such as ISO/SAE 21434, while introducing independent vehicle vulnerability assessments. It also proposes a consumer-facing risk rating system to reassure consumers about their choice of vehicle.

Billyeald continues: “Building consumers’ trust in both vehicle safety and cybersecurity is critical. We will continue to work with 5StarS to develop an assurance framework that underpins future assessments of the cybersecurity capabilities of new vehicles and their resilience to attacks.”

Paul Wooderson, Cybersecurity Principal Engineer at HORIBA MIRA and 5StarS project lead, added: “It’s important we address cybersecurity assurance for connected and autonomous vehicles, not only for vehicle manufacturers but for the automotive industry as a whole, as well as insurers and consumers.

“The easy-to-understand rating system is essential for customers’ peace of mind, as is demonstrating that appropriate security measures are in place. We are now inviting feedback on this paper, which we will use to further enhance the 5StarS framework, providing a positive solution for trusted and resilient mobility.”

The final paper will be released in June 2019 after consultation with the industry.

5StarS is a Innovate UK funded two-year project. For more information on 5StarS or to provide feedback on the consultation paper, visit: https://5starsproject.com/

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Thatcham Research is the independent voice of automotive safety, security & repair, advising motorists, insurers and vehicle manufacturers to help reduce accident frequency, severity and costs and to realise the vision of ‘Safer cars, fewer crashes’, while driving standards in vehicle security.

As well as its world leading crash and track research, Thatcham Research develops repair methods amongst a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

In addition, Thatcham Research has administered the Association of British Insurer’s (ABI) Group Rating system for the past 50 years. Group Rating is an advisory system intended to provide insurers with the relative risk of private cars and light commercial vehicles.

A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham Research has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004.