The H2020 CARAMEL project ends by opening a promising scenario in the field of innovative anti-hacking solutions for the future of connected and automated cars


CARAMEL (Artificial Intelligence-based Cybersecurity for Connected and Automated Vehicles), a research project co-funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 framework programme, came to an end with a successful final review meeting. On August 25, the CARAMEL consortium, integrated by 15 organizations from 8 European countries, together with 3 Korean partners (ETRI, KATECH and MOBIGEN), presented their main results and some simulations to the experts of the European Commission. The final review meeting marked the end of the 33-months project, which was officially closed in June 2022.

The project applies a proactive approach based on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning techniques to detect and prevent potential cybersecurity threats to autonomous and connected vehicles. This approach has been addressed based on four fundamental pillars.

In pillar 1—Autonomous Mobility—the project has developed an anti-hacking device that uses machine learning to detect attacks against the sensors in the vehicle. In this regard, researchers have demonstrated the anti-hacking device capabilities by addressing potential threats such as location spoofing, traffic sign anomalies, and attacks on the camera sensor and by providing improved situational awareness.

Likewise, CARAMEL’s pillar 2—Connected Mobility— focused on developing advanced attack detection technologies for connected vehicles. To this end, i2CAT implemented a vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication protocols stack, following ETSI standards, to enable communication between cars and other vehicles that is executed in Onboard Units (OBU) and communication units located aside the road—Roadside Units (RSU). The integration activities had a very important role for the final demonstrations of this Pillar where i2CAT integrated the V2X communication protocol stack (V2XCom) inside the hardware of the OBU and in a Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), the deployment of the Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) architecture modules inside the anti-hacking device and the MEC and the integration of these modules with the modules in charge of V2X communications. Additionally CARAMEL developed a solution based on a collaborative effort among vehicles for identifying GPS spoofing attacks and in order to improve the results of the final demo, i2CAT has developed a backend/frontend system to show, from a centralized device (laptop or tablet), all the Local Dynamic Maps (LDMs) of the different OBUs, and a system to generate and trigger V2X message transmission attacks.

Pillar 3 —Electromobility— was oriented to develop remote detection of cyber attacks on EV Charge Stations from cloud back office (Greenflux).

In pillar 4 —Remote Control Vehicle— the Korean partners, who still have one year of project based on Korean funding, continue working in the implementation of remote control vehicle based on mmWAVE (23GHz) use case, building a data processing architecture and developing a Malicious Traffic Detection Solution LSTM(Long-Short Term Memory)-based cyber-attack anomaly prediction/detection.

Under the framework of the CARAMEL project, researchers have developed several simulation demonstrations to present the results of their research and integrations in mitigating cyber-attacks on autonomous vehicles. Over 14 scientific papers and articles have been published in international conferences and high-impact journals. Additionally, the consortium ensured a strong presence at trade fairs and exhibitions, including the IoT Solutions World Congress 2022 celebrated in Barcelona and released a series of video demonstrations. In June, the project achieved a significant milestone at Panasonic’s facilities in Langen (Hessen), Germany, so the project results were successfully presented to a panel of external observers.

“H2020 CARAMEL project comes to an end after a journey of 33 months in which all the partners involved worked together towards the same main objective: the development of a more secure driving experience for connected and automated vehicles. The COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly impacted us, but we managed to meet the challenge thanks to digital collaboration and an enthusiastic, consistent, and constant team. And I’m not just saying it; this was remarked by the European Commission’s representatives, receiving extra congratulations. Now it’s time for the partners to explore new opportunities through exploitation activities and for new RIA projects to go ahead with CARAMEL outcomes. The European automotive cybersecurity industry has an amazing journey ahead” states Jordi Guijarro, the project coordinator.

After its official completion, results achieved at the CARAMEL project will be used in further R&D activities and upcoming new research projects to develop efficient anti-hacking solutions for the new generation of connected and automated vehicles.