Infineon Technologies AG will be teaming up with XAIN to bring blockchain technology into cars. The two companies signed a corresponding Memorandum of Understanding at Infineon’s 1st Automotive Cybersecurity Forum. Their goal is to develop and applications and one such application which was showcased in the first demonstrator dealt with access rights through the use of a smartphone app. Such access rights could be used to facilitate applications like car sharing.
Commenting on the collaboration, Peter Schiefer, President of Infineon’s Automotive Division said that Cybersecurity is highly crucial for mobility of the future as it would be data driven and this is one area in which blockchain technology offers immense potential. Further development of this technology for use in vehicle would require a high degree of coordination between the selected blockchain methodology and the security hardware that is used within the car and this is why Infineon is teaming up with XAIN to achieve this level of configuration.”
A blockchain is essentially a decentralized database that facilitates speedy transactions and highly secure tamper-free storage, as in the case of bitcoins. When it comes to vehicles, applications of blockchain technology could include automated payments, keyless access for car sharing schemes, on-demand services, tuning protection and automated driving functions. These would involve granting of access rights – to the car itself or to specific data in the vehicle. One example is practice in which insurance use driving data regarding motorists to reward those with good driving habits with lower premiums.
All of Infineon’s 2 nd generation AURIX™ microcontrollers are already capable of providing support for blockchain functionality in cars. This support is based on an embedded hardware security module (HSM) that complies with the highest level of the EVITA security standard. An HSM consists of special computing and storage units within the microcontroller. It performs the cryptographic operations and is protected by a dedicated firewall of its own. The 2 nd generation AURIX microcontrollers thus have a secured memory for the digital key used for identification in the blockchain and are able to perform blockchain operations, such as hashing or digital signing, swiftly and securely. Certified security controllers such as the OPTIGA™ TPM 2.0 from Infineon for automotive applications allow even higher security levels to be reached.
However, the conventional microcontrollers used in cars would still find it a challenge to tackle creation of new data blocks as that would call for immensely high amounts of computing power. XAIN, is working on a new process that can be performed on devices that need to use energy economically as n the case of the microcontrollers in cars.
Leif-Nissen Lundbæk, founder and CEO of XAIN AG said that the company’s goal is turn cars into fully-fledged network participants. This will not only enhance their offline and real-time capabilities, it would also offer a particularly high level of privacy protection in connection with AI technologies. Thus, private data for machine learning would be kept exclusively in local storage. Lundbæk said that the goal of XAIN’s collaboration with Infineon was to advance the use of XAIN’s AI technology in cars.
At the Infineon Automotive Cybersecurity Forum, Infineon and XAIN presented their first demonstrator which highlighted how access rights can be granted decentrally, easily and securely through the use of a smartphone app. Thus, a car sharing scheme using this app will not need a platform or back-office and all participants would be able to spontaneously share their cars with others. The Infineon Automotive Cybersecurity Forum is the first industry conference staged by Infineon at which automotive companies, suppliers and academics have come together to discuss cybersecurity in vehicles.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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