The Center for Automated Vehicles Research with Multimodal AssurENavigation (CARMEN) 

Highly automated transportation systems (HATS), whether ground, air, or maritime, rely on a steady stream of signals and information from external sources for localization, route planning, perception, and general situational awareness. This includes reliance on positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) information: Location is essential both for short-range driving control and long-range navigation and planning; and accurate timing is a precondition for on-board sensor fusion, cooperative planning and control, and management based on information from other vehicles or the infrastructure.

Current HATS are too trusting of such external information, and too fragile in the face of loss or attenuation of vital PNT and communications links.

There is a global trend of increasing interference, whether accidental or deliberate, in radio bands crucial for HATS. Civil global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) jamming and spoofing have evolved from a hypothetical threat, to an experimentally-verified vulnerability, to an emerging public safety hazard. The obvious risk for highly automated vehicles (HAVs) is loss of the ability to produce an accurate, sustainable position, velocity, and time (PVT) solution in a global map with sufficiently high integrity. The risks for vehicle networks and transportation management systems are increased traffic congestion and collisions due to inadequate or misleading situational information.

Despite encouraging progress over the past decade, the vulnerability of externally-sourced information vital to PNT and to situational awareness remains an open problem for HATS. Yet a solution must soon be found: interference cannot be allowed to paralyze a city’s transportation network. Vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, fleet operators, and human drivers/pilots have some knowledge of the threats to HATS PNT, but they do not fully appreciate the threats’ scope and seriousness. They tend to rely on security and resiliency schemes that address bare minimum requirements, leaving serious weaknesses exposed.

The CARMEN UTC will thoroughly address the following four objectives:

  1. Gather and systematize existing knowledge and identify gaps in knowledge/practice related to GNSS/PNT threats to HATS  
  2. Carryout risk identification studies to understand the impact of PNT threats on HAVs
  3. Develop new PNT lapse mitigation strategies for HATS, which are (i) robust in the face of unusual natural or accidental events and (ii) secure against deliberate attacks 
  4. Complement existing methods for cyber resilient PNT receiver testing, develop new mitigation methods, and propose standards and create "best practices" documents and guidelines 
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                                                   CARMEN UTC vision