UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Node in Security

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Computing & Communications

Abstract

Autonomous Systems (AS) are cyberphysical complex systems that combine artificial intelligence with multi-layer operations. Security for dynamic and networked ASs has to develop new methods to address an uncertain and shifting operational environment and usage space. As such, we have developed an ambitious program to develop fundamental secure AS research covering both the technical and social aspects of security. Our research program is coupled with internationally leading test facilities for AS and security, providing a research platform for not only this TAS node, but the whole TAS ecosystem. To enhance impact, we have built a partnership with leading AS operators in the UK and across the world, ranging from industrial designers to frontline end-users. Our long-term goal is to translate the internationally leading research into real-world AS impact via a number of impact pathways. The research will accelerate UK's position as a leader in secure AS research and promote a safer society.
 
Description Physical Graph Based Wireless IoT Security with No Key Exchange (GraphSec)
Amount £235,000 (GBP)
Funding ID A1GW441 
Organisation PETRAS 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2021 
End 05/2023
 
Title Autonomous Systems Protocol Testbed 
Description This is a testbed to replay, simulate, and benchmark autonomous systems communications supporting dynamic topologies, network state fluctuations, and highly scalable (2 to 10k instances). Our testbed uses Testground. Testground is a platform for testing, benchmarking, and simulating distributed and peer-to-peer systems at scale. It's designed to be multi-lingual and runtime-agnostic, scaling gracefully from 2 to 10k instances, only when needed. This testbed allow us to test communication with: - Dynamic topology (e.g., multiples network paths changing in real time) - Control over the simulated links characteristics (e.g., introduce sudden latency spikes, packet loss, disconnections, route changes, etc) - Support for arbitrary protocols (since autonomous systems often use specific, possibly proprietary protocols) - High scalability (to simulate small networks or networks with thousands of nodes) - Possibility of using tools for logging, benchmarking, and data analysis 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2022 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This testbed has just been completed with current work packages planned. This section will be updated as these outcomes occur. 
URL https://tas-security.lancs.ac.uk/aspt/
 
Description Collaboration with National Highways 
Organisation Highways England
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Facilitating workshops and co-designing ethically informed practices when it comes to implementing and governing secure automation across National Highways' remit. One of the broader aims of our collaboration is the co-creation of an ethical toolkit, which offers guidance, tools, and recommendations for the increasing amount of automation that will become part of the UK's road, manufacturing, and construction infrastructures.
Collaborator Contribution Exploring their key priority areas, such as connected autonomous vehicles (CAV), connected and autonomous plant, digital roads, public engagement, and cybersecurity.
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between industry, sociology, philosophy, law and AI. Currently, the outputs have been a workshop and a blog outlining this collaboration.
Start Year 2022
 
Description The First IFIP Workshop on Intelligent Vehicle Dependability and Security (IVDS) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Prof. Neeraj Suri attended this event from 29th January to the 1st February 2021 and this was a valuable opportunity to engage with around 70 experts from across industry, academia,and other professional practitioners. The workshop focussed on discussing the hypothesis that "level 3 autonomous vehicles cannot be made acceptably safe with current technology and practices". Follow up workshop in June 2022
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://ivds2021.dependability.org/index.html#home
 
Description @TAS_Security Twitter account 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Twitter account for the TAS-S project (@TAS_Security). Engaging with the latest news and activities across our project, the TAS Network and the wider field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
URL http://www.twitter.com/TAS_Security
 
Description A Rapid Evidence Review of Methods: Autonomous Vehicle Security and Human Behaviour 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact A poster on 'A Rapid Evidence Review of Methods: Autonomous Vehicle Security and Human Behaviour' was presented online at the TAS All Hands Workshop in September 2021, which highlighted some of the current research being undertaking by research strand 3.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://tas-security.lancs.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/Autonomous-Vehicle-Security-and-Human-Behaviour-...
 
Description A new job at Lancaster University! 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog by our Senior Research Associate,Dr. Zhengxin Yu, about the work she will be undertaking as part of her new role at Lancaster University. Since it was published in July 2021, the blog has had around 300 hits.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://tas-security.lancs.ac.uk/a-new-job-at-lancaster-university/
 
Description Autonomous Systems, aviation and TAS-S 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Blog by our Research Fellow, Dr. Burak Yuksek, on how an early love for aviation led him to Cranfield University and the research he is undertaking as part of TAS-S. Since it was published in June 2021, this blog has had around 300 hits.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://tas-security.lancs.ac.uk/aviation-and-autonomous-systems/
 
Description Challenges of Living with Artificial Intelligence 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact TAS Hub Living with AI Podcast: 'Challenges of Living with Artificial Intelligence' with Prof. Neeraj Suri (24/03/2021)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.buzzsprout.com/1447474/8022176
 
Description Collaborative discussions with TAS-S External Stakeholder Group Members 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Regular (monthly/bi-monthly) discussions with external stakeholders across industry from a range of different sectors.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
 
Description Delivering the AI Strategy - the use of new AI technologies in industry and the public sector 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact In September 2021, the UK Government published the National AI Strategy. Part of this Strategy is to support the transition to an AI-enabled economy. In this event, discussions focussed on how AI technologies are being deployed now in the public and private sectors, and expectations for the coming years. Prof. Neeraj Suri attended this event in February 2022 and this was a valuable opportunity to engage with policymakers and other professional practitioners, and highlight the work being undertaken by TAS-S.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://www.foundation.org.uk/Events/2022/Delivering-the-AI-Strategy-%E2%80%93-the-use-of-new-AI-tec
 
Description Discussions with Lancashire Police. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meetings with Lancashire Constabulary Sept 23rd 2021 for collaboration on use of aerial surveillance to support vehicle forensics. 8 people in total.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
 
Description Discussions with NHTSA, US DOD and NSF 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Discussions on July 12-15, 2021; Oct 10-25, 2021 with the National Science Foundation, US Department of Defense, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Driverless cars step closer to our roads with new self-learning AI technology 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact News article form Mirage News (Australia) regarding the work our researchers, Prof Plamen Angelov and Eduardo Almeida Soares. It particularly focusses on the work they have bene undertaking with regards to deep learning systems and autonomous vehicles.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
URL https://www.miragenews.com/driverless-cars-step-closer-to-our-roads-with-695937/
 
Description ELSI Workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog by our Research Associate, Dr. Luke Moffat, explaining the work research strand 3 is doing with regards to ELSI (Ethical, Legal and Social Implications) in relation to TAS-S research. Since it was published in July 2021, the blog has had around 300 hits.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://tas-security.lancs.ac.uk/elsi-workshops/
 
Description ELSI, Workshops, and the things in-between 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog by our Research Associate, Dr. Luke Moffat exploring how his background in philosophy is informing his current research. Since it was published in September 2021, the blog has had around 150 hits.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://tas-security.lancs.ac.uk/elsi-workshops-and-the-things-in-between/
 
Description European Commission Cybersecurity Roadmap Task group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Prof. Neeraj Suri was invited to join this task group,which first met on the 19th Feb 201 and monthly meetings from then on. Discussions were held around the security aspects of the TAS-S project, and advocacy of the TAS-S compositional security approach. Future workshop planned for March 2022.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description External Stakeholders' Group (ESG) Meeting 2022. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The second TAS-S External Stakeholders' Group (ESG) meeting took place online on Tuesday, 1st March and was attended by around 40 participants from nearly 30 different organisations across industry, policy, law and academia. The theme for this year's workshop was 'Requirements, Approaches & Challenges in Trustworthy Autonomous Systems'. 
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://tas-security.lancs.ac.uk/esg2022/
 
Description External Stakeholders' Group Meeting (2021) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact TAS-S, as the security node in the EPSRC's Trustworthy Autonomous Systems (TAS) programme, held its first External Stakeholders Group (ESG) workshop on 29th March, 2021. The TAS-S stakeholders, as an international representation of prominent autonomous systems leaders, numbered about 50 participants from 30 academic, governmental and industrial organizations. The full-day event provided the TAS-S investigators and its external stakeholders with a critical opportunity to network, albeit virtually, as the collective TAS-S team!
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://tas-security.lancs.ac.uk/esg1/
 
Description Fireside Chat: Introduction to TAS-S 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Prof. Neeraj Suri was invited to give a talk about the aims and research of the TAS-S node as part of the TAS All Hands Workshop in September 2021. This workshop brought together researchers and industry with interests in the specification requirements for trustworthy autonomous systems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.tas.ac.uk/bigeventscpt/all-hands-meeting/
 
Description From Mexico to Milton Keynes 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog by our Research Fellow, Dr. Oscar Gonzalez Villarreal, about his research interests and the work he is undertaken as part of the TAS-S project. Since it was published in February 2022, the blog has had around 50 hits.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://tas-security.lancs.ac.uk/from-mexico-to-milton-keynes/
 
Description GM/BMW/TUV-Germany 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 15th March 2021: Discussion; Regulatory and Certification issues for autonomous vehicles with GM, BMW and TUV Germany (the German Regulatory Agency).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description HFM European Technology Summit 2022 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Feb 28, 2022: Fireside Chat/Panel at HFM EU Technology Summit on Cyber Risk Mitigation & Data Loss Prevention; Around 250 people attended. Gave a position statement on Cybersecurity issues in autonomous systems. Future impact likely but this was a very recent event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Interview on the Cyberwire pod cast 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact I was interviewed on the Cyberwire regarding the technical activity of the network research work package. The cyberwire podcast is a well regarded by industry and has a global reach.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://thecyberwire.com/podcasts/daily-podcast
 
Description Meetings with senior management in industry 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Nov 15-19, 2021; Meetings with senior management of Lufthansa, Deutsche Bahn, Siemens, Continental, Audi and Bosch to promote the approach being taken by TAS-S and influence products and standards along with collaborations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
 
Description Mentorship session: Fellowships and Funding: 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Prof. Weisi Guo joined a panel of academics to discuss experiences of applying for funding and Fellowship opportunities in a session aimed at early career researchers across the whole TAS programme. This was part of the TAS All Hands Workshop in September 2021.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.tas.ac.uk/bigeventscpt/all-hands-meeting/
 
Description NHS Lancashire Healthier Living Programme 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 17th March 2021: Discussion on cybersecurity issues on use of autonomous medical support systems; Influence on NHS decision on use and deployment of AS for monitoring and patient support.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description National Highways 1st Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact On the 18th January, research strand 3 held our first exploratory workshop with National Highways, which represents the beginning of our new partnership over the next 8 months. One of the broader aims of our collaboration is the co-creation of an ethical toolkit, which offers guidance, tools, and recommendations for the increasing amount of automation that will become part of the UK's road, manufacturing, and construction infrastructures.The workshop provided space for people across National Highways to give us more insight into their ongoing projects. These include areas such as connected autonomous vehicles (CAV), connected and autonomous plant, digital roads, public engagement, and cybersecurity. This fed into the main workshop activity, a value mapping exercise, which helped to visualise the key priorities and issues National Highways are tackling, and how they connect. The discussions in the workshop were extensive and wide-ranging, covering a plethora of interconnected and complex challenges, opportunities, and priorities in National Highways' future. What both moderators and participants shared was an acute awareness of the need for proactive, ethically informed practices when it comes to designing, implementing and governing secure automation across National Highways' remit
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description New Collaborations: TAS-S and National Highways 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Blog and website update by our Research Associate, Dr. Luke Moffat, outlining our new project collaboration with National Highways. This includes a series of workshops and we aim to co-create an ethical toolkit, which offers guidance, tools, and recommendations for the increasing amount of automation that will become part of the UK's road, manufacturing, and construction infrastructures. This information has had around 70 hits since being published on the 17th February 2022.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://tas-security.lancs.ac.uk/national-highways/
 
Description Panel/workshop with Continental/Airbus 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Around 40 people attended this panel and workshop to assess the implications on the use of AS technology and security ramifications; Industry; plans for future activity and influence on choice of technology. 19th March 2021.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description PhD to PDRA 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog by our Research Fellow, Dr. Zhuangkun Wei, about his background, new role as part of the project, and the publication of his first security paper. Since it was published in November 2021, the blog has had around 200 hits.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://tas-security.lancs.ac.uk/phd-to-pdra/
 
Description Policy/Standardization Board meetings: ISO 26262 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Policy/Standardization Board mtgs: ISO 26262 spread over Sept- Nov 2021 As these meetings are by-invitation only, TAS-S interfaces via GM and Uber for this engagement
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
 
Description Presentation to TAS Strategic Advisory Network 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 28th February 2022: presentation on TAS-S to the TAS Strategic Advisory Network. This network is made up of experts from policy, industry, academia and health. Future impact likely but this was a very recent event.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Secure Operations of Trustworthy Autonomous Systems 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact A poster on 'Secure Operations of Trustworthy Autonomous Systems' was presented online at the TAS All Hands Workshop in September 2021, which highlighted some of the current research being undertaking by research strand 2.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://tas-security.lancs.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/Secure-Operations-of-Trustworthy-Autonomous-Syst...
 
Description Social Science and the Ethics of Digital Technologies 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact This talk took place on the 15th July, 2021. Our Co-Is, Prof. Corinne May-Chahal, Dr. Joe Deville, Dr. Catherine Easton and our Research Associate, Dr. Luke Moffat, gave a presentation to 30-35 undergraduate students at Lancaster University on the topic of "Social Science and the Ethics of Digital Technologies".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Surveillance Workshop: Use and Abuse of AS for Surveillance 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact 20th September 2021: around 25 researchers attended this workshop, mainly from Lancaster University
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description TAS All Hands Meeting: Specifying for Trustworthiness. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Our Research Associate, Dr. Luke Moffat, was an invited speaker at the workshop 'Specifying for Trustworthiness', which brought together researchers and industry with interests in the specification requirements for trustworthy autonomous systems. Discussions focussed around identifying intellectual challenges that could be developed into collaborative research projects. This formed part of the TAS All Hands meeting in September 2021.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.tas.ac.uk/bigeventscpt/all-hands-meeting/
 
Description TAS Thought Piece Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact This workshop created discussions between the TAS-S Node, the wider TAS-S Network and external stakeholders from industry regarding the issues, methodologies, applications, use cases, results and vision of the security node. This workshop was the first step towards creating a white paper on the security of autonomous systems.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description TAS-S Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact TAS-S website which engages with our external stakeholders, and other members of industry, academia and policy, regarding our latest research activities and news from around the sector. The website contains a lot of information, including details of our upcoming seminars, and our stakeholders consult it regularly. We have had over 6000 views as of March 2022.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
URL https://tas-security.lancs.ac.uk/
 
Description Transparent deep learning classifiers of driving scenarios able to identify and learn from unseen situations 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Research Associate, Eduardo Almeida Soares, was invited to give a seminar to the Lancaster Intelligent, Robotic and Autonomous Systems Centre. The talk was "Transparent deep learning classifiers of driving scenarios able to identify and learn from unseen situations" and requests for follow-up information was requested by a number of attendees.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Verification of Autonomous Systems 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Collaboration workshop with the TAS Verifiability Node on the 2nd March 2021 with a follow-up workshop on the 23rd November 2021.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Workshop on risks and security assurance cases for use of drones in commercial airspace 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Industry forum attended by around 50 people from across industry on the 19th May 2021 on the risks and security assurance cases for use of drones in commercial airspace.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021