Symposium on the Future Networked Car (FNC-2019)

7 Mar 2019
Geneva, Switzerland


Event report/s:
Cedric Amon

[Read more session reports from the Symposium on the Future Networked Car (FNC-2019)]

Mr Ian Yarnold (Chair, IWG on Intelligent transport Systems, UNECE) spoke about the work of the UNECE’s Working Party 29 (WP 29) which is the world forum for harmonisation of vehicles. He explained that the WP 29 deals with issues around emissions, general safety, passive safety, lighting and light signaling, noise/tyres, and active safety automatic systems among others. The group works in co-operation with various stakeholders and is open to member states of the UN, relevant non-governmental organisations and international organisations.


Cedric Amon

[Read more session reports from the Symposium on the Future Networked Car (FNC-2019)]

The session was moderated by Mr Roger Lanctot (Director, Automotive Connected Mobility, Strategy Analytics).

Mr Bryn Balcombe (Chief Strategy Officer, Roborace) said that motorsport always played a role in displaying and advancing technology. He explained that Roborace is working on the development of autonomous cars and makes developer teams compete for the best software solutions, which are in turn implemented into the cars.

According to Balcombe, humans and artificial intelligence (AI) will increasingly be working together and complement each other. The importance therein is in determining the strengths of humans and the strengths of AI and how they can be linked.

Balcombe mentioned that USD$ 100 billion have been invested in the development of autonomous cars and noted that these investments should not only go towards the increase of companies’ revenues. According to Balcombe, some of that money must result in positive repercussions by reducing road deaths.

He recognised that economies will be increasingly data-driven and said that if networked and autonomous fleets - which will generate massive amounts of data - are deployed in cities, some of that information should be shared with the local authorities.

Mr Max Cavazzini (EMEA Automotive & Manufacturing Lead, Amazon) highlighted that Amazon has been using AI for years and is developing its AI-based portfolio through services such as Amazon Go, Alexa, and PrimeAir.

Amazon’s Web Services (AWS) are also very active in the automotive sector and provide Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) with the possibility to host their data flows on the AWS platform given its advantage in cloud computing.

According to Cavazzini, legislation, and liability issues should be based on consumer perspectives and not only focus on OEMs standpoint.

Ms Anne Mellano (VP of Operations and Co-founder, Bestmile) pointed out that the automotive industry is looking to build perfect autonomous vehicles. The founder of the Lausanne-based company explained that the transition to autonomous vehicles will still be very long and that the ground for this transition must be prepared. Bestmile therefore offers business to business (B2B) solutions for mobility service operators and advises its customers on fleet optimisation and how new mobility systems might benefit them.

She noted that in the future, autonomous cars operating on shared driving platforms will be able to provide optimised services and avoid empty rides.

She said that intermediary steps in order to achieve fully autonomous vehicles causes confusion, given that it makes it unclear whether the car is controlled by a human or the operating system. This also causes challenges for regulators, as responsibility and liability are difficult to determine in these cases.

Mr Philippe Huysmans (VP of Growth, Ridecell) explained that three disruptions for mobility are currently happening: shared, electric, autonomous. Shared driving provides a lot of data about car fleets in terms of maintenance and business analysis. The electrification of car fleets might require a higher entry cost but will be profitable in the long run given the lower maintenance costs. According to Huysmans, the third disruption, the arrival of autonomous cars, will happen gradually. Therein, legal and insurance questions will become important issues. He explained that especially when it comes to insurance companies, early movers have a lot to gain. Autonomous cars will involve a lower risk of accidents which might lead to less revenues for the insurers. Therefore, according to Huysmans, many insurance companies are realising that it is more beneficial for them to collaborate with autonomous car developers to get access to data in order to adapt their portfolios, rather than trying to slow down an inevitable evolution.

Huysmans also noted that some cities are even ahead of the start-up wave by banning fuel-engines and encouraging smart city developments. However, these trends will drive more development in the industry.

Mr Alain Kornhauser (Professor, Princeton University, USA) explained that according to him there are three categories of automated cars: safe driving cars, self-driving cars, and driverless cars. Safe driving cars use technologies such as speedometers and lane centring. However, these technologies have increased the prices of cars and are often sold as extra features. Self-driving cars allow the driver to take the hands off the wheel and provide the driver with comfort and convenience. Automated parking assistants fall within that category. The category of driverless cars is what Kornhauser referred to as ‘mobility machines’ which are privately owned (e.g. by mobility providers) and could greatly benefit people with reduced mobility. This technology would enable mobility in remote, low-density areas where it is not profitable to run ride-sharing or taxi services as well as in cities.

Kornhauser also cautioned against too much reliance on deep learning and AI given that some conclusions of the software cannot be understood nor explained by humans.

Mr Julien Masson (VP Sales, CloudCar) presented the cloud-based infotainment platform, CloudCar. The principle of the software is to provide customers with an intuitive interface in the car which will allow OEMs to obtain some information about their customers’ data. Previous attempts by OEMs to provide their brand-specific car interfaces have not proved successful and interoperability with widely-used applications such as iTunes and Spotify have become the norm. However, in plugging in your smartphone ‘ecosystem’ into a compatible car system, the OEMs do not obtain information which could enhance the user experience. CloudCar therefore provides a cloud-based and personalised service which adapts to the user, all the while letting users enjoy their preferred medium.

Masson explained that the challenge is to make predictions of user preferences in order to make the experience enjoyable and relevant.

Mr Holger Weiss (CEO and Founder, German Autolabs) explained that his work focuses on what happens inside the car. He noted that conversational interfaces are on the rise, especially in the automotive industries, and that there is a general trend for ‘de-appification’. Since AI and cloud computing have increased precisiness of voice recognition up to 97%, there is an increased use of digital, voice-based assistants. German Autolabs is thus developing a digital assistant to be used in cars, which is proactive and provides a holistic platform for cognitive assistance.

Weiss also mentioned that so far, new types of mobility such as the shared driving economy is not traffic congestion nor pollution.

Mr Tomaso Grossi (Business Development Manager​, Autonomous Driving, Tomtom) said that automated driving relies on maps, sensors, driving policies and actuators. He further explained that OEMs are increasingly incorporating maps into their systems given that they can help anticipating the road ahead, reduce computation power and that they work in all weather conditions. Additionally, incorporating the maps and mirroring them with the data obtained from the cars improves their accuracy and allows OEMs to further take that information into account for the development of autonomous cars.

Cedric Amon

[Read more session reports from the Symposium on the Future Networked Car (FNC-2019)]

The session was moderated by Mr Michael L. Sena (Consulting AB) who explained that we need to find solutions for over-the-air (OTA) updates and that there is a need to assess cybersecurity issues in that regard. He mentioned his report from 2015 which already addressed certain challenges.

Mr Miguel Banon (Vice President, Business Line Cybersecurity, DEKRA) pointed out that the automotive sector is relatively new to cybersecurity issues in comparison with other technology sectors. He explained that safety concerns are well engaged in productive cycles but not in terms of cybersecurity and that there is a need to learn quickly from other types of products. Banon noted the urgent need to develop standards and regulations for the sector because cybersecurity issues will become increasingly important for car manufacturers and the future of networked cars.

Banon spoke about the different approaches in the EU and the US, wherein the former rely more on policy developments, while the latter opt for more regulations which are developed through market powers and insurance approaches. He further pointed to the challenges for future certifications given that networked and automated vehicles will rely on a mix of different standards. Finally, Banon said that there have not been many cyber-attacks on cars yet because there currently is no business case for hackers to do so. However, he foresaw cyber-attacks on car systems becoming more lucrative in the future and that cars will increasingly become targets of such attacks.

According to Mr Martin Rosell (CEO, WirelessCar) cybersecurity must be included in cars from their inception. This also means that cybersecurity must be monitored in every single step of the value chain. His company is working on improving the connections between cars and explained that the data from cars is needed to build ecosystems to turn provide business to business (B2B) and business to customer (B2C) solutions. Rosell also mentioned the extreme complexity in analysing the obtained data given that security protocols are constantly updated. Additionally, given that no connected services incorporated in cars are fully cloud-based, hybrid solutions must be implemented - a challenge in itself in terms of securing cars from cyber-attacks.

He noted that the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Cloud Act in the US have had implications on security. Similarly, China’s prohibition of encryption for data in the cloud makes finding cybersecurity solutions very challenging.

According to Rosell, edge-computing will alleviate some of the cybersecurity concerns, but cautioned that the growing need for sensors on cars also offers a broader front for cyber intrusions.

Mr Amir Einav (VP of Marketing, Karamba Security) explained that his company is incorporating an approach of a self-defending vehicle in terms of cybersecurity. He further mentioned that a lot of progress has been made with the help of white hat attacks on Tesla, Jeep, and BMW vehicles. These white hat attacks are conducted with the intention to improve security by disclosing weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the products

Einav said that the issue of cybersecurity is increasingly being recognised by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and that Karamba Security is trying to help manufacturers to keep their systems safe through built-in security solutions. He noted that criminals have sharing networks and that the automotive industry must develop sharing networks of their own to enhance sector-wide exchanges regarding security concerns.

According to Einav, networked and automated cars are Internet of Things (IoT) devices and the automotive industry has a chance of leading the IoT developments.

He also mentioned that attacks might not only be used to take control of the car, but that they might also become targets for their computational power, which can be used for data mining and other types of malicious purposes. However, Einav said that hackers are usually looking for easy targets and that the automotive industry might be able to avoid becoming too much of a target if they incorporate strong safety mechanisms.

Ms Aline Gouget (Technical Advisor, Advanced Cryptography, Gemalto) pointed out that risk assessments and the understanding of global threats are crucial to provide good cybersecurity solutions. She highlighted the fact that increased complexity of cars which incorporate many different technologies make it more difficult to develop cybersecurity mechanisms.

She mentioned that ‘security by design’ must be part of the solution, but warned against incorporating more complexity in car systems by adding too many security layers. Rather than adding to the complexity, cybersecurity solutions should be developed around sound risk assessments which highlight the most vulnerable areas. Additionally, Gouget noted that maintaining user privacy through certificates and encryption is an important challenge because certificates need to be changed regularly in order to ensure the highest level of privacy.

Mr Darren Handley (UN Task Force on Cyber Security and OTA issues (CS/OTA), Department for Transport UK) said that regulations will help to integrate cybersecurity and pointed out that systems must not only be safe, but also resilient. He explained that currently certain legal frameworks could be used to prosecute perpetrators of cyber-attacks but that these are not specific to networked vehicles. Certain breaches could, for example, be prosecuted under the GDPR.

According to Handley, manufacturers need to show their efforts in terms of securing vehicles from cyber-attacks in order to give people confidence in the new products. He also introduced the idea of creating an oversight body which would control the levels of cybersecurity used by car manufacturers.

Mr Shay Horowitz (Head of Marketing, Cymotive) noted that the industry is still learning how to keep devices secure over time and future proof. He also mentioned that so far there have been no malicious cyber-attacks, but rather, attacks with the intent of furthering safety.

He encouraged car manufacturers to conceive cars like a software company would in order to better prepare for potential attacks. He insisted that the industry should think like hackers and that then they will be able to understand how their cars could be attacked. This step will facilitate the development of built-in security attackers.

Mr Oren Betzaleli (Senior Vice President & GM, Software Platforms, HARMAN) noted that more attacks on cars will occur in the future due to the massive connection of cars which will provide a business case for malignant hacks.

Betzaleli explained that the conception of resilient systems is of the highest importance as well as conceiving ways to react to an attack. Therein, OTA systems should be made mandatory which could rollout security patches according to Betzaleli.

Mr Koji Nakao (Rep. ITU-T SG17, NICT, Japan) spoke about the challenges of conducting cybersecurity risk assessments given the complexity of networked cars. He further noted the difficulty of disclosing security vulnerabilities to manufacturers because they often do not wish to expose themselves by publicly acknowledging them. Another difficulty is the verification of disclosed vulnerabilities by manufacturers which is why certain companies are starting to create verification mechanisms for vulnerabilities about their products which have been disclosed by third-parties.

Nakao explained that with most attacks, many IoTs are already infected and that infections are often not installed into the device directly - but that they are integrated into the various gateways. Therefore, risk assessments for cyber-attacks on networked cars should also involve the analysis of external infrastructures.


Cedric Amon

[Read more session reports from the Symposium on the Future Networked Car (FNC-2019)]

Mr Bilel Jamoussi (Chief Study Group Department, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU) explained how the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) operates regarding intelligent transport systems (ITS) and future mobility. He said that there are 17 working groups that focus on new transportation systems and cybersecurity issues. The groups’ operations range from developing standards for quality of service of speech and audio in vehicles, to the development of standards to secure over-the-air software updates for vehicles.

Mr Walter Nissler (Chief of Section, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, UNECE) spoke about the importance of avoiding the interference of car sensors with other sensors and elaborated on the need to create separated broadband frequencies. He explained that the ITU allocates these spectra for vehicles and that various ITU study groups are on the standardisation of intelligent transport systems (ITS). He noted that spectrum allocation for all kinds of services has recently been discussed and that spectra are important for all broadband producers and manufacturers, and emphasised the importance of harmonising the different spectra.

Cedric Amon

[Read more session reports from the Symposi

[Read more session reports from the Symposium on the Future Networked Car (FNC-2019)]

The session on Connected and automated vehicles at the cross-roads to success was moderated by Mr Russell Shields (Chair, Ygomi).

Mr Johannes Springer (CEO, 5GAA) explained that the 5GAA association encompasses around 110 members globally and is constituted of car manufacturers and suppliers from the automobile and network operating sectors. They recognise the importance of understanding that cellular networks play a very important role with regards to networked car safety and that the industry is currently not using the full capacity of the technology.

Springer mentioned the competing systems in terms of vehicle to vehicle (V2V) transmission and the disagreements they cause among manufacturers. According to Springer and the 5GAA, they would favour a market-based approach to find a solution in which the market powers determine which technology will prove to be best suited.

He also raised the question of how to include ‘vulnerable road users’ (pedestrians, bikers, etc.) in a safety related system. He noted that these users are usually also connected through smartphones and that technical safety solutions should be expanded to include them as well.

Mr Teodor Buburuzan (Device Connectivity (EECP/3), Volkswagen) stated that the biggest challenge for the car manufacturing industry is getting the right technology for the right problem and working together. Buburuzan explained that Volkswagen (VW) was still using a dedicated short range communications (DSRC) standard for V2V communication which some experts criticise for being outdated. He said that the company favoured the system given that it has been tested and improved in the last 7 years and that it is an easy and reliable system.

Additionally, he mentioned that there is a split in the automotive sector in terms of adopting the V2V standard and that many big car manufacturers rely on the DSRC standard, given that it can offer deeper market penetration. Buburuzan noted that safety alone is often not enough to make a business case but that market penetration is.

He further explained that cybersecurity issues are not the biggest concern regarding the technology, given its relatively high security measures. However, according to Buburuzan the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) proves to be a bigger challenge given that V2V technologies require online connectivity but that certain informations about the drivers and passengers cannot be shared without their consent. Given the real-time exchange of the data required for these technologies, it is difficult to incorporate the best suitable legal framework which respects user privacy, while operating with real-time data.

Mr Dino Flore (VP of Technology, Qualcomm) welcomed the arrival of 5G technologies and the potential for new technological solutions which will appear. He also spoke about the greater alignment between telecommunication operators and automobile manufacturers to improve safety and efficiency. He named the introduction of vehicle to everything (V2X) technology as an example. This new framework allows cars to communicate with cars and the environment around it.

Flore noted that adoption of these technologies is key and condemned the split of manufacturers regarding V2V technologies. In his opinion, the newer options of the technology provide greater benefits than DSRC. Nonetheless, he said that the debate about the right technologies is a healthy debate which might slow down the full rollout of the leading technology, but that the discussions around it are necessary.

Mr Onn Haran (CTO, Autotalks) said that the number of road deaths is stagnating and that direct communication between vehicles has the potential to save human lives. In order to do so, all cars must speak the same ‘language’ which is hindered by the use of different standards in the automotive sector. According to Haran, the users are interested in seeing improvements regarding road safety and do not have a preference about which standards are implemented, as long as they provide the intended safety.

Additionally, Haran noted that any solution will have to be able to be developed on top of the previous one in order to ensure the interoperability of systems. Therefore, regulations should ensure continuity and that the technologies are built in a future-proof manner. According to Haran, an additional challenge to overcome is the early-adoption issue because users might refrain from spending more money on more expensive but technologically advanced cars if there is not a large rollout of these cars.

Ms Marjorie Dickman (Global Director & Associate General Counsel, Automated Driving and IoT Policy, Intel Corporation) said that the worldwide number of 1.35 million road deaths per year is too high and explained that Intel differs on the quality of policies which relies on outdated technology. She acknowledged that certain standards such as the DSRC standard might have been state of the art when it was adopted in 2014, but that technologies such as the latest V2X offer superior performance and a clear evolution path to 5G which will be a crucial building block in the next decade.

Dickman said that Intel urges policymakers to take a technology neutral, market-based, and a future looking approach to increase road safety. Dickman noted that countries such as China and other South-East Asian countries have already adopted V2X and expect to cover most of the big cities with sensors to communicate with the system by next year. According to Dickman, three quarters of Europe will be covered by 5G by 2025 because the private sector is massively investing in it. For this reason, she believes that future-proof technology should rely on 5G networks and that waiting for market penetration of a certain stand-alone standard will take much longer to reach a similar level of market presence.

Mr Eddy Hartog (Head of Unit, Smart Mobility and Living in DG Communication Networks, Content and Technology, EC/DG-CNECT) explained that initially the telecommunication and the car manufacturing sector did not realise the the intersection between their fields, particularly in the context of road safety. However, co-operation between these sectors is urgently needed and gradually improving.

In terms of split standards, Hartog urged manufacturers to rely on readily available standards given that people are dying and that waiting for the adoption of future technologies will only increase the death toll on the roads. Hartog also noted that the issues regarding the interoperability of technologies and the question of which standard to use must be solved by the private sector, given that they created these problems. He recognised that the issue of standard primacy has now become a political issue, but emphasised that this was a technical problem which should be solved by those who caused it.

He also spoke about the importance of not locking oneself into one technology and invited all stakeholders to keep forward and backward connectivity in mind.

Mr Andre Cardote (Head of Product Management, Veniam) explained that his company produces a system that helps transport large amounts of data from cars to the cloud and back. According to Cardote, as vehicles become more software based, the update frequency will increase as well. Therefore, Veniam helps original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to prioritise data and store it for a certain amount of time.

Cardote also urged the stakeholders to think about vehicle technology that goes beyond safety concerns and that the standardisation of technology is taking too long to be adopted, while the technology already exists.

Mr Michael Meyer (Head of Radio Architecture and Protocol Research, Ericsson Research) pointed out that the first versions of 5G technology are already being implemented, which provides huge potential for improvements in networked cars. It is important to understand that 5G is here. Meyer foresees that in certain cars, only marginal changes will need to be made to extend V2X communications to interoperate with 5G networks.

Meyer also criticised the EU’s Delegated Act and argued in favour of a more technology neutral and market-based version of the regulatory framework adopted by the European Union.

Cedric Amon

[Read more session reports from the Symposium on the Future Networked Car (FNC-2019)]

The event was co-organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The co-chairs Mr Bilel Jamoussi (Chief, SGD, TSB, ITU) and Walter Nissler (Chief of Section, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, UNECE) made opening remarks before inviting Mr Jean Todt (UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, President, FIA) to give his keynote address. Todt mentioned the rapid evolution of the discussions around automated cars and that some expect the first of these cars to be deployed within the next five years. He spoke about the security aspect that networked cars might provide, given that there are still over 1.35 million road deaths per year, despite the increased adoption of road safety regulations. Todt also pointed out that the new technology must be carefully thought through in order to avoid it becoming part of the problem. Therefore, developers and manufacturers should also keep in mind the safety of people around the cars, such as those on foot and bicycles. According to Todt, networked cars also bear the potential of reducing traffic congestion and have a positive impact on the environment since new shared car riding business models will arise and reduce the number of users driving alone in their cars.

Additionally, Todt highlighted the importance of public private partnerships in the field, given that networked cars will provide massive amounts of data which will be exposed to cybersecurity issues. For this reason, manufacturers and governments must find viable solutions to these new challenges.

In his opening address, Mr Houlin Zhao (Secretary General, International Telecommunication Union (ITU)) explained that the symposium was created almost 15 years ago after the realisation that information and communications technology (ICTs) can contribute to road safety.

Zhao noted that the automotive industry is at an important point of its evolution, and at the centre of its transition into automated and networked driving. He further pointed out that with the arrival of technologies such as 5G, the ITU’s work is now more important for automotive industries than ever. He predicted that the future of mobility will be crafted by a collaboration of the public and private sectors and that a new market segment will appear in the intersection between ICTs and automobiles.

Ms ​Olga Algayerova (Executive Secretary, UNECE) said that developments surrounding networked cars will disrupt mobility and technology. According to Algayerova, mobility will occur without significant accidents and reduced emissions thus creating a safe and secure transportation method.

She pointed out that there will be many further technological advancements which will need to be harnessed by regulators. Algayerova welcome the increased collaboration between UNECE and the ITU which helps breaking down silos and facilitates the finding of comprehensive regulations and standards. She explained that UNECE hosts the Working Party 29 (WP 29) which sets global regulatory frameworks for transportation and mobility and that its co-operation with the ITU has already achieved successes in terms of cybersecurity.

Finally, she noted that innovation and technological issues must also be driven by women.


The Symposium on the Future Networked Car (FNC-2019) will take place in Geneva, Switzerland during the 89th Geneva International Motor Show. The event will be organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

The topic of discussion will tackle the commercialisation of intelligent transport systems; automated driving holding the promises of improving road safety, reducing congestion and emissions, and increasing the accessibility of the elderly and persons with disabilities. During the event, automotive and information and communication technology (ICT) industry representatives, and government leaders will gather to discuss the state and the future of vehicle communications and automated driving.

The symposium will be held on 7 March at Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland. Registrations are open at the following link.

For more information about the event, visit the dedicated web page.


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