Cyber security in connected autonomous vehicles

As part of an Innovate UK funded project, we worked with Chilton Computing, Huduma and Oxfordshire County Council as part of a consortium focusing on cyber security in connected autonomous vehicles.


Advances in automotive technology have paved the way for organisations to explore connected vehicles, usually with their own internet connection that allows cars to exchange data with other devices such as navigation and entertainment systems. Connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) bring a range of possible challenges such as communication with other vehicles and external infrastructure. This potentially makes CAVs susceptible to cyberattacks making it crucial to incorporate cyber security considerations in to their future development.


Hartree Centre’s data science team used statistical methods to analyse publicly available data on various types of cyberattack, extracting the probability of occurrence. To address questions surrounding the use of cyber security in CAVs, the team used a game theoretic simulation methodology to describe a decision-making process for CAV designers as to whether they should invest. This incorporated results of the data analysis performed in the cyberattack dataset alongside practical considerations such as the impact of a potential cyberattack on the company to help guide decision-making.


This work was able to address a challenging issue by quantifying the security level of a CAV system. The team was able to develop a model for data-driven decision-making in a CAV framework during a short, three-month project. The proposed methodology to model decision-making can easily be extended to facilitate additional factors that automotive companies might wish to take into account going forward. An example of this is the cost of a cybersecurity solution, both in terms of actual cost or whether solutions are compatible with existing software. Additionally, if CAV related cybersecurity data are made available, the results from analysis of these data can be used to further enhance the proposed game theoretic model for decision-making.

“Working with the Hartree Centre has enabled our company to take a fresh look at our computational approach for cyber risk assessment for the CAVs.”

Erica Yang, Chilton Computing​

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