Privacy and data security with cooperative driving task support put into practice on a large scale for the first time ever


Privacy and data security is a key topic in the Intelligent Transport Services (ITS) arena. For the first time ever in Europe, a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) solution has been developed and put into use for cooperative driving task support in the Shockwave Traffic Jam A58 project. This solution is based on international standards, making it suitable for large-scale application in other services and other locations, as well.

The A58 motorway between Tilburg and Eindhoven is a test route for various ITS applications. Since April 2016, road users have been able to test two shockwave traffic jam services: FlowPatrol and ZOOF. Special equipment in their cars communicates with WiFi-P beacons on the roadside. Based on detailed information about congestion and shockwave traffic jams, they receive personalized in-car speed advice. This enables the road users to better anticipate situations ahead that are not yet visible, enabling them to move through the traffic quickly and more easily.

To generate that advice, a great deal of data must be collected, stored, processed and transmitted. This involves ‘public’ data, such as traffic information and the advice that is ultimately transmitted by the roadside beacons. However, it also includes ‘personal’ data about the cooperative vehicles, such as their exact location, speed and direction. Using the latter type of data without any additional measures could quickly give rise to (data) security risks and privacy issues. That is why the consortiums participating in the project (Siemens, Technolution, Vialis, V-tron) have developed a solution to curb those risks. This solution is suitable for the shockwave traffic jam service but is meant in particular for the future and for services yet to be developed.

Data protection with PKI

The most important measure is the digital signing of all communications sent by roadside beacons and cooperative equipment in vehicles. This guarantees the integrity and authenticity of the communication - in other words, that the data have, in fact, been sent on by and originate with a reliable source, without being changed. The signing and verification process is called Public Key Infrastructure, or PKI for short.


To safeguard the privacy of users, the equipment in each car (Talking Traffic kit) has various digital identities that can be used to sign messages. The Talking Traffic kits can change their unique ID (“MAC address”) every five minutes. As a result, they never broadcast the same ID longer than a few consecutive minutes. This makes it much harder for third parties to recognize and track a sender.

Scaling up

The major benefit of this solution is that it is actually also meant for future developments and services. New services can be connected easily. And if a service requires additional security measures, it will not be necessary to fully adapt the system. In that event, the existing system can easily be expanded.


Background information

Test possibilities on the A58

The A58 motorway between Tilburg and Eindhoven has been equipped with a service-independent infrastructure, tightly specified interfaces and - where already available - based on European standards (ETSI, CEN). To that end, 34 roadside beacons with WiFi-P have been placed along the route. These beacons make wireless communication possible with suitable equipment in passing cars. As a result, the architecture that has been developed is broadly applicable and other parties can also join in and develop, test and implement their own ITS services in a regular traffic situation.

More information, read the paper "FAQ (data) security and privacy"


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