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Integration Challenges

October 7, 2018

Integrating disruptive technologies in vehicles is not trivial. 
 

It takes two to Tango ... it requires extreme concentration and coordination

 

To deliver new technologies, the automotive supply chain will reshape very drastically in the coming years, where necessary component-level technology (sensors/new electronics) will be driven by the new entrants (startups or large organizations), but the responsibility of vehicle integration will continue to fall in the hands of automotive manufacturers.
This fast evolving supply chain coupled with a paradigm shift in desired vehicle
functionalities, pose unique challenges when it comes to the actual integration of external
innovations.


The automotive industry is commonly defined as ‘traditional’, ‘rigid’, and ‘tightly integrated’. Needless to say that the cycle from the drawing board to the dealership involves years-long of development involving complex integrated systems.
On the other hand the ‘agile’ technology-focused firms are accustomed to moving extremely fast from prototyping to production and don’t face the same regulatory hurdles.

 

Building blocks of a car all fit together like a giant puzzle

 

This unique environment involving various players, each with its specific culture, requires a sort of alignment between them in order to help the industry keep moving forward in
reinventing itself. Open innovation and the integration of external sources of innovation have become increasingly important for the automotive industry. The disruptors need the
incumbents for actually integrating their innovations into the cars. The later must keep pace with the high-technology companies for staying relevant in such a fast-evolving environment.


With a natural focus towards automotive cyber safety, C2A Security clearly identifies that top automotive players think about cyber security as a key component to staying relevant and competitive in the industry.
As passenger safety became a focal point in automotive design until now, so too must
securing vehicles’ software and electronic systems.
Security is a related topic and a necessary foundation for safety. And while this will include
the standard physical safety features typically found in vehicles, greater emphasis will need to be placed on protecting the security of any and all vehicle’s electronic and digital
architecture.

 

Security and safety must converge for our best interest.


What might be seen as a security issue – illegitimately accessing and modifying data in
vehicle – is now a safety issue.


Why manufacturers have so far failed to thoroughly implement security safeguards?

It seems at first that cyber security expertise is not a natural competence at the OEM level.
Therefore they are relying on external know-how and innovations to help them in coping with in-vehicle cyber risks. On the other hand of the spectrum there are already a few dozens of high-tech firms and start-ups developing and offering cyber security solutions dedicated to the Automotive industry.

 

So where does the tango fall short?
Thanks to open channels to many of the top automotive manufacturers and Tier-1 suppliers, C2A Security came to realize that the solutions and cleverness are not lacking in the high-tech community. Where the disruptors are still lagging behind is in their ability to design their solutions with the industry’s constraints in mind.
On top of those is the ease of integration of such solutions. Eventually if a technology is not practical, one cannot expect the final integrator i.e the OEM to invest tremendous resources for incorporating it in its already very complex systems.
This is the case with offerings which involve prohibitive performance impact on key systems, or that are based on hardware additions which will turn out to significant BOM inflation.

 

Ease of integration is paramount

 

In a previous blog post about the physiognomy of cyber attacks we understood the need for a multi-layered security approach. Now we reach a further conclusion in which the ultimate cyber protection must be easy to integrate if it actually aims at being incorporated in series production vehicles by manufacturers.


The major obstacle for making it in the Automotive industry is above all the ability to
embrace the inherent environment and to think from the ground-up with an ‘Automotive-
grade’ philosophy
.

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