The Research Institute of Sweden (RISE) is launching Europe’s first cyber security initiative dedicated to vehicle testing to combat threats to connected vehicles.

The Cyber Test Lab will offer insights, methods and test beds in collaboration telecom experts and ethical hackers, RISE said.

The partnership will also help tackle what has become a key concern for manufacturers, the company said.

Pia Sandvik, chief executive officer at RISE, said: “We are deploying a world leading hub with several test beds and scientists together with carefully selected partners. We will address the burgeoning cyber threatening around connected vehicles today and in the future.

“A single automotive manufacturer cannot work alone in finding ways to combat cyber-attacks. This must be done with the broadest range of expertise to ensure that the whole industry benefits from centralized research.”

The lab will test vulnerabilities across areas including – virtual testing/digital twins, embedded software in vehicle units (ECU), vehicle cloud-based software.

Cyber Test Lab provides test services including simulation/virtualization, sub system testing, semi-virtual and full vehicle testing in controlled environments.

It also provides a chain of testing capabilities by interconnecting existing Cyber Range with the automotive test beds AWITAR and Asta Zero, which allows manufacturers to stress test new technologies and products through the whole R&D process.

The automotive industry is projected to lose $505bn to cyber-attacks by 2024 according to QTICS Group.

By 2030, about 95% of new vehicles sold globally will be connected, up from around 50% to-date, says McKinsey and Company.

RSM has urged car dealers across the UK to prioritise enhanced cyber security in response to increasing concern around the number of cyber-attacks across the sector.

Tomas Bodeklint, head of operations at Cyber Test Lab, said: “It might sound controversial, but we firmly believe working with ethical hackers is critical in testing vehicles to their limits. The ethical hackers are selected partners from our existing Cyber Range in Stockholm.

“This launch of the Cyber Test Lab is especially important at a time when cyber-attacks and cyber threats against infrastructure and connected technology has become a fast-growing problem around the world.”

Connected EVs are prime targets for a new era of cyber attacks, says Bernard Montel, EMEA technical director and security strategist, Tenable.

The lab will start advanced testing by the beginning of 2023 and pilot projects are underway, simulating cyber-attacks on vehicles and electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

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