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Evidence-based Security Architecture for Vehicular Environments

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Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Connected and automated transport (CAT)
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues


Background & Policy context

The context of this project is the on-line secure provision of information to drivers and vehicles. It is likely that this approach will contribute greatly to improving mobility problems currently existing in vehicular traffic. The results obtained by using electronic variable message signs is an example that supports the validity of this hypothesis. The growing implementation of dynamic speed limits adds to this view.

Although there are relevant previous solutions to such information, they often do not address how to ensure the security of this information. Moreover, protocols and security mechanisms in ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) are currently being proposed. As classical solutions are not suitable for this type of scenario, further research is needed.

Another aspect in this project is to reduce the feeling of impunity among misbehaving drivers by automating the enforcement process. The research activity will provide the basis to detect violations continuously, in contrast to what is practice today. Based on the analysis of previous works, the following shortcomings make the research relevant:

  • there is no coordinated process, using ICT, covering all stages of prosecution;
  • current systems for reporting vehicles use automatic capturing, but do not provide authentication of driver involved. This results in delayed penalties and therefore suffer from effectiveness;
  • there is no architecture to store electronic evidence regarding a vehicle's behaviour at a particular time.

This project deals with the modelling, design and implementation of a multi-layer security architecture applied to ad-hoc vehicular networks (VANETs). The main objective of this project is to offer public authorities, the possibility to apply information technologies to ensure and satisfy critical goals in areas such as: road safety, auto-regulated traffic control and identification/prosecution of road offenders. The functionality of the architecture is divided in three different blocks called Operational Bases:

  • Operational Base-I: the system will provide information securely to drivers about the actual current state of the traffic;
  • Operational Base-II: it will serve to generate vehicular forensic digital evidences;
  • Operational Base-III: it will represent a real-time system for the management of electronic penalty tickets.

The aim is to provide a solution to two main outstanding issues regarding existing VANETs:

  1. the insecurity of the information generated and transmitted in this type of networks, and
  2. the total absence of any government procedures to process and respond to this information. For the development of the technical aspects of this project, the following main areas of research have been identified: ad hoc P2P networks, cryptography and computer forensics.

This approach is novel as for the first time a vehicular architecture will globally embrace specific areas of functionality (Operational Bases I, II and III), the same as all security aspects are taken care of from the initial state of the project, thus ensuring information and communications security throughout the model.


The methodology used to achieve the project objectives, is divided into several phases (following the classic life cycle model in cascade with feedback loop) that are broken down into packets, and in tasks. The phases are:

1. Analysis of the state-of-the-art
This phase includes the study of the state of the VANET infrastructure, and will analyse the existing problems in these areas. Special emphasis will be on the analysis of security properties required by each scenario. The analysis of alternatives will determine the definition of a global model (or high-level architecture) to ensure the applicability of identified scenarios. This phase will result in a discussion paper to be included in the requirements specification of the proposed model.

2. Design phase
This phase takes as its starting point the requirements specified in the preceding stage. First, a detailed design of the functional architecture of the entire system will be proposed. Second, the security protocols appropriate to meet the objectives specified in each of the previously defined bases (Operational Base I, II III) will be designed. As a result, a formal design of the system and defined protocols will be achieved in this phase.

3. Formal validation phase
Designs and cryptographic protocols designed in the previous phase will be formally validated in this phase. New formal models will be designed for those instances that require it. As a result, this phase will result in the formal proof of having achieved the stated objectives.

4. Phase prototype implementation and experimental evaluation
This stage will include the codification of the mechanisms designed in Phase 2 of this methodology. Furthermore, the products obtained will be evaluated through software simulations.


Other Programme
National Programme on Research & Development (Spain)


During this project, a tool called VanSimFM ('VANET Simulation Framework Modeller') has been created. This tool aims to assist the researcher in the creation of simulation scenarios for NS-2. This tool is an extensible, open-source tool. Please contact José María de Fuentes if you are planning to use this tool or if you are interested in extending it.

Download information: see the CONTACT tab on this website, en select the link to the web page with project information. Then select PROJECT RESULTS in the menu on the left. On the resulting page, you can download among others the VanSimFM tool.
Note that the VanSimFM Test Bed (for the Evaluation of Protocols) is approximately 125 MB in size. The source code is about 8 MB and the User Manual is about 1 MB in size.

VanSimFM is an extensible test bed formed by a set of NS-2 simulation scenarios for validating Intelligent Transportation Systems application and services. Simulation-based evaluations are usually conducted to validate a given proposed ITS (Intelligent Transportation System) application and services. However, the simulation scenarios are usually different, which makes it difficult to compare. In this project a catalogue of NS-2 simulation scenarios have been proposed. Such catalogue aims to be a unified framework for protocol evaluation. This catalogue may be extended in a collaborative way.

Innovation aspects

This project offers public authorities, the possibility to apply information technologies with respect to areas like: road safety, auto-regulated traffic control and identification/prosecution of road offenders.

Policy implications

There are no policy implications.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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