AutoCHERI project announcement

Beam Connectivity lead AutoCHERI consortium on project funded by Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

July 19, 2022

AutoCHERI consortium seeks to improve cyber security and safety for connected vehicles using Digital Security by Design technologies.


The AutoCHERI consortium including Beam Connectivity, Applus IDIADA, Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult, Coventry University and University of Exeter will review how Digital Security by Design technologies can improve the cyber security and safety of connected vehicles.


The AutoCHERI consortium has been awarded over £1,200,000 of funding from the Digital Security by Design, business led demos, Phase 2 competition. The consortium will review how Digital Security by Design technologies can improve the cybersecurity and safety of connected vehicles.


The challenge for vehicle cyber security resilience is increasing. Nearly all new vehicles have cellular connections. As electric vehicles are being adopted rapidly, vehicle platforms are being rearchitected and becoming increasingly software-defined with cyber resilience and safety being highly interdependent. Any cyber security breaches in the automotive sector can result in serious injury, risk to life or massive financial penalties. Emerging standards and legislation focus on detection, mitigation, and incident management, ensuring that vehicle manufacturers must be ready to respond to cyber incidents. However, there is still an important and untapped role to play for technologies which improve foundational cyber security, and therefore also safety, in vehicle design. The UK has an opportunity to play a significant role in this with a strong and active cyber security sector and as new supply partnerships are formed for electric vehicles.


The Digital Security by Design (DSbD) Programme aims to “radically update the digital infrastructure currently underpinning the global economy making it secure against future threats”. It includes the development of DSbD technologies, evolving the foundational electronics that products are based upon, and which are expected to provide fundamental cyber security benefits at the chip level using a new instruction set (Capability Hardware Enhanced RISC instructions, CHERI) to protect against buffer overflows, the most common type of security defect.


Over a 25 month project which started in February, the AutoCHERI consortium will review how DSbD technologies can be applied to vehicles to improve their resilience. They will also investigate how DSbD based products can help vehicle manufacturers comply with standards and legislation.


This project is funded by the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) under the Digital Security by Design (DSbD) Programme.


Thomas Sors, CEO of Beam Connectivity said:

“At Beam Connectivity our ambition is to build best-in-class connected vehicle systems for our customers. To do this we focus on three core areas looking to have the most cyber secure, highest performance and most versatile connected vehicle platform. This project will provide a high level of innovation and a step change in cybersecurity for vehicles. This will support our customers meet emerging legislation and provide more resilient vehicles.”


Anthony Jude, IDIADA said:

“Applus IDIADA have worked on and are working on several cybersecurity projects within the automotive industry. We are active partners in the creation and development of the current state of the art DSbD as recommend by the ISO 21434 standard and associated regulations (Reg 155 and Reg156).  


Our objectives from the AutoCHERI project are to understand how the proposed CHERI hardware concept complements a cybersecurity solution that is in line with the spirit of ISO21434. We believe this project would be a great enabler to pave the way for DSbD adoption throughout the automotive industry.”


Joe Gannicliffe,CSA Catapult said:

“Future vehicle platforms will need communications and perception sensing to support Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving. The AutoCHERI project will determine the security and resilience required within the design processes to protect against the risk from cyber-attacks.

CSA Catapult is pleased to be working on the AutoCHERI project to help improve future cyber security of next generation vehicles. Our role is to bring industry together by setting up advisory groups and engaging with manufacturers and suppliers, so it meets the future needs of industry.”


Professor Siraj Shaikh, Coventry University said:

“The Systems Security Group (SSG) at CFTC is leading the way in adoption of DSbD platforms for automotive use cases. This project contributes significantly towards that mission, working across the key ecosystems players.”


Prof. Achim Brucker, University of Exeter said:

The AutoCHERI Project is at the heart of our research vision: building systems that are secure and safe by Design, i.e., that user’s can trust and rely upon. This project allows us to contribute with our knowledge in techniques for developing high-assurance systems and gives us the opportunity to work with the latest hardware security technologies. The outcome of the project will influence our future research as well as contribute to our teaching, e.g., in our MSc in Cyber Security Analytics.”





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About Beam Connectivity

Beam Connectivity – Pioneers in better connected vehicle systems.

We believe that today’s connected vehicle systems are underwhelming for both end users and the organisations that deploy them, and this is in part due to a highly fragmented supply chain. Consumers and business users get frustrated and lose trust in their connected systems. At Beam Connectivity our vision is to address these issues. We are a one-stop-partner offering a high performance and versatile system which have all the components required to stand-up a connected vehicle system; our Connected Vehicle as a Service (CVaaS) platform.

Whether it is to accelerate the development of electric vehicles, or to launch new mobility or vehicle data-based services, we support our customers focus on the value of their connected vehicle data while we take care of the underlying connection.


About Applus IDIADA

Applus IDIADA is an engineering company with more than 30 years of experience in vehicle development, providing design, engineering, testing and homologation services to the automotive industry worldwide. With its headquarters and main technical centre near Barcelona in Spain, the company has subsidiaries in 22countries, a team of more than 2,800 highly specialised professionals and state-of-the-art testing and development facilities.

Applus+IDIADA is present in the UK since 2011, providing an extensive range of testing and engineering services in the fields of brake testing and development, in market vehicle fleet validation and data collection, electronics, ADAS, connected and automated vehicle development and vehicle certification.


About Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult

Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult is focused on bringing compound semiconductor applications to life in three key areas: the road to Net Zero, future telecoms and intelligent sensing. 

CSA Catapult is a Not-for-Profit organisation headquartered in South Wales. It is focused on three technology areas: Power Electronics, RF & Microwave and Photonics.  As well as the three technology areas, CSA Catapult is also working in Advanced Packaging for these high-power innovations.

The next wave of emerging applications will have an enormous impact on our lives.  Compound semiconductors will enable a host of new and exciting applications in the electrification of transport, clean energy, defence and security and digital communications markets.

CSA Catapult exists to help the UK compound semiconductor industry grow and collaborates across the UK and internationally



About the Systems Security Group, Coventry University

The Systems Security Group (SSG) addresses research problems that lie at the intersection of cybersecurity, systems engineering and computer science. SSG’s core mission is to research and engineer secure and resilient cyber-physical systems for automotive and transport industry, working in collaboration with partners in industry, academia and government. Its main strengths are detecting and modelling emerging threats to connectivity, on-board systems and infrastructure, validating novel methods, tools and solutions for automotive security and resilience, risk assessment for interplay between automotive security and safety engineering, and building bespoke testbeds and components working with partners across supply chains in electronics, IT and automotive industry.


About Cybersecurity Group, University of Exeter

The mission of the Security and Trust of Advanced Systems Group at the University of Exeter is to protect our society from harm caused by insecure, unsafe, unreliable, and incorrect complex technical systems. The group develops methods and tools for systems that are secure, safe, reliable, and privacy friendly by Design. Its expertise ranges from applied cryptography, security protocols, software security, to formal verification, testing, and certification of  high assurance systems.




About the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund aims to bring together the UK’s world leading research with business to meet the major industrial and societal challenges of our time. The fund was created to provide funding and support to UK businesses and researchers, part of the government’s £4.7 billion increase in research and development over the next 4 years. It was designed to ensure that research and innovation takes centre stage in the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy. It is run by UK Research and Innovation.