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Imaging vehicle-to-vehicle communication using visible light

: Ziehn, Jens R.; Roschani, Masoud; Ruf, Miriam; Brüstle, Dennis; Beyerer, Jürgen; Helmer, Melanie


Advanced Optical Technologies 9 (2020), No.6, pp.339-348
ISSN: 2192-8584
ISSN: 2192-8576
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IOSB ()
connected driving; cooperative driving; Cybersecurity; VLC; V2V; V2X

With advances in automated and connected driving, secure communication is increasingly becoming a safety-critical function. Injection of manipulated radio messages into traffic can cause severe accidents in the foreseeable future, and can currently be achieved without having to manipulate on-board vehicle systems directly, for example by hijacking cellphones instead and using these as senders. Thereby, large-scale attacks on vehicles can be executed remotely, and target relatively vulnerable devices. To mitigate remaining vulnerabilities in current automotive security architectures, this paper proposes a secondary communication channel using vehicle head and taillights. In contrast to existing approaches, this method allows both to achieve a sufficient data rate and to extract the angular position of the sender, by means of an imaging process which only requires close-to-market, cost-efficient technology. Through this, injecting false messages by masquerading as a different sender is considerably more challenging: The receiver can verify a message’s source position with the supposed position of the sender, e.g. by using on-board sensors or communicated information. Thereby, reliably faking both the communicated messages and the position of the sender will require direct manipulation of on-board vehicle systems, raising the security level of the function accordingly, and precluding low-threshold, wide-range attacks.