The next generation of automobiles will further escalate the proliferation of electronic control units (ECUs) to enable new and exciting control and infotainment applications. Although the use of electronic embedded systems improves performance, driving comfort, safety, and economy for the customer; this electronic control of automotive systems makes these systems susceptible to permanent, transient, and intermittent electronic failures, which can significantly reduce the reliability and availability of these systems. In addition, recent work has demonstrated vulnerability of modern car control systems to security attacks that directly impact the automobile's physical safety and dependability. The novel aspect of this research program is the simultaneous integration of security and dependability while minimizing energy consumption and ensuring that real-time constraints of the application are not violated. The dependability and security approaches proposed in this project are also applicable to other CPS, such as transit and aerial vehicles, industrial automation, and medical monitoring. Energy-efficient security and dependability integration, as pursued in this research program, further implies greater fuel-efficiency for combustion engine vehicles (in particular, aerial vehicles) and longer battery lifer for hybrid and electric vehicles.
To address the research challenge of simultaneous security and dependability integration while minimizing energy consumption, this research program proposes to leverage multicore ECUs to achieve high reliability with low energy-overhead for automotive safety-critical functions. The research program consists of two modular but inter-linked thrusts. In the first thrust, the project aims to develop a novel dependability methodology that would enable quick error detection and correction (QEDC) via an optimized combination of comparison-points and lightweight checkpointing to better meet the application's real-time constraints even in the presence of faults. The proposed dependability methodology aspires to attain energy-efficient fault tolerance by an intelligent use of dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS). The second thrust aims to develop an integrated safety and security methodology that would integrate security primitives: confidentiality, integrity, and authentication over vehicular networks in an energy-efficient manner without violating the real-time constraints imposed by the maximum tolerable response time of cyber-physical applications. The project further aims to adapt safety and security parameters (e.g., number of comparison points for QEDC, number of checkpoints, key lengths for cryptographic algorithms and message authentication codes) to meet the application’s real-time requirements under changing environmental stimuli (e.g., transient fault rate and vehicular bus load).