Autonomous Vehicles

Atonomi brings mission-critical security to self-driving cars

Autonomous Vehicles Drive the Need for IoT Security

Gartner estimates more than 33 million “connected car” vehicles are produced each year as of 2018, a figure they forecast will rise to more than 60 million per year by 2020.

With connected cars (a term that includes trucks) being defined as “vehicles capable of bidirectional wireless communication with an external network for the purpose of delivering digital content and services, transmitting telemetry data from the vehicle.” Meanwhile, ABI estimates that by 2025 there will be some 8 million vehicles produced each year with Level 3 autonomy, just short of completely hands-off driving.

That’s exciting news because connected cars and completely autonomous vehicles hold the promise of reducing traffic fatalities, reducing congestion, giving mobility to those too old to drive and those with disabilities, as well as curbing our carbon footprint.

Unfortunately, connected and autonomous vehicles provide a threatscape for hackers and other bad actors that could unleash scenarios straight from the world of science fiction.

Atonomi helps secure autonomous vehicles by giving manufacturers the ability to enhance processes with built-in blockchain-based immutable device identity and reputation tracking. And Atonomi accomplishes this with a very small footprint of less than 100 KB (just 60KB for most devices) so it can fit on the smallest of IoT devices or components.

The need for implementing tight security for autonomous vehicles is clear:

“Hackers Are the Real Obstacle for Self-Driving Vehicles.”

MIT Tech Review

“Damages of vehicle cyberattacks can be severe and irreversible as it concerns human lives.”

Mahmoud Hashem Eiza in “Driving with Sharks: Rethinking Connected Vehicles with Vehicle Cybersecurity,” IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine

“Autonomous vehicles are at the apex of all the terrible things that can go wrong. Cars are already insecure, and you’re adding a bunch of sensors and computers that are controlling them...If a bad guy gets control of that, it’s going to be even worse.”

Charlie Miller, autonomous vehicle pioneer, in Wired

“What is the biggest risk of hacking? In a data center it is loss of data. With the car it is loss of life.”

David Barzilai, in The Financial Times

“Cars today have up to 100 ECUs [electronic control units]and more than 100 million lines of code — a massive attack surface. Further complicating matters, auto manufacturers source ECUs from many different suppliers, meaning that no one player is in control of, or even familiar with, all of a vehicle’s source code.”

Tech Crunch

“Future car design must be ‘cyber security native,’ integrating security solutions into the earliest stages of product design.”

McKinsey & Company

Why Atonomi for

Autonomous Vehicles


Connected Cars are Here, and Autonomous Vehicles are Coming

The global connected vehicle market, estimated at $72 billion in 2017, is projected to reach $219 billion by 2025. Meanwhile some of the biggest names in automotive—as well as several technology companies—are moving fast forward on development of completely autonomous self-driving vehicles. Connected cars already represent an enormous attack surface for hackers and other bad actors, and fully autonomous vehicles will just up the stakes. Atonomi brings blockchain-based device identity and reputation tracking to help secure the future.

Small Footprint

The Atonomi SDK is created for devices that measure their computing and storage resources in kilobytes—not megabytes or gigabytes.

Easy to Deploy

Just download our Atonomi Embedded SDK, and give your device or equipment the blockchain-based trust of the Atonomi trust network.

Interoperability to Work Across Devices

The Atonomi trust environment is designed to work across all IoT devices. From traffic sign recognition, to lane-departure warnings, to pedestrian detection and collision avoidance, to self-diagnostics, the Atonomi SDK is designed for easy use across the spectrum of equipment required to enable autonomous, safe driving experiences.

Security as a Market Differentiator

Autonomous vehicles, perhaps more than any other IoT use case, stirs anxiety amongst consumers as well as manufacturers. When a test car being driven in autonomous vehicle mode, struck and killed a woman walking her bicycle across the street it was headline news around the world. Embedding Atonomi gives automobile and smart traffic infrastructure manufacturers the ability to provide security as a market differentiator.

The Atonomi trust environment uses public/private key cryptography and blockchain technology to record the unique IoT device identity onto the immutable ledger. Deeply rooted device identity is the foundation of security. Atonomi also uses immutable identity and machine learning to track device reputation to identify aberrations that could indicate a device has been hacked or otherwise compromised.

Compactly Coded for Compact Devices

Compactly Coded for Compact Devices

A Quick Overview of Atonomi

Here's a quick look at the basic building blocks of the Atonomi trust environment

Device Identity

Immutable root identity, especially when linked with device reputation, enables interaction between known and trusted devices. Atonomi incorporates device identity using Elliptic Curve 25519 public/private key pairs created during either the device development or manufacturing process. The Atonomi embedded SDK uses the key pairs later during device registration with the Atonomi trust environment.

Device Registration

Device manufacturers register device IDs, including the device’s public key, with the Atonomi trust environment. The Atonomi smart contract includes a device registration function that writes new device IDs to the blockchain. The registered device ID, along with its public key, is later used during device activation.

Device Activation

When the IoT device is purchased by the end user, they receive activation instructions that send them to the Atonomi web portal where they will enter the device identifier for device activation onto the Atonomi trust environment. The Atonomi Embedded SDK, integrated into the application code by the developer or OEM, guides the end user through the activation process.

Device Validation

Devices that have been Atonomi-enabled via the Atonomi Embedded SDK and that have successfully registered and activated on the Atonomi trust environment can begin to utilize the Atonomi Validation functionality. Devices exchange their signed device identifier with other devices with which they want to transact. This enables secure device-to-device interactions.

Device Reputation

The Atonomi Embedded SDK provides a device Reputation Service that relays quality of service data from interactions between devices on the Atonomi trust environment. The device reputation  uses an algorithm to generate a behavioral score. Interactions are tracked by reputation auditors, and analyzed using AI and machine learning to detect aberrations signaling a compromised devices.

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