Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Data security and data management for land transport technologies

Cyber and data security for connected and automated vehicles

Connected and automated vehicles will communicate with other vehicles, devices and with infrastructure. Vehicles will send, receive and process thousands of messages per minute detailing the current time, vehicle speed, location, direction, path and other safety‑related information. A vehicle will determine whether it needs to take action (i.e. change speed or send an alert) depending on the messages it receives.

A failed, inaccurate or miscommunicated vehicle message could have severe consequences on connected and automated vehicles and the road users around them. The Office of Future Transport Technology is looking into options for a national security system to ensure that connected and automated vehicles are safe from cyberattacks when they are deployed.

One leading security solution for connected and automated vehicles is the Security Credential Management System (SCMS). Connected vehicle devices enrol into the SCMS, obtain security certificates from certificate authorities, and attach those certificates to their messages as part of a digital signature.

The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads is currently conducting a trial using a SCMS, in partnership with the Office of Future Transport Technology and Integrity Security Services. Learnings from this trial will help inform our understanding of what security solution is required across Australia for connected and automated vehicles communications.

We are also working with the Critical Technologies Policy Coordination Office in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to promote and protect critical technologies, and with the Department of Home Affairs to ensure our work is consistent with Australia's Cyber Security Strategy 2020.

Data management capabilities

The Department is continuing to build its ability to manage data. In May 2021, the Australian Government committed $16.5 million over four years to establish the National Freight Data Hub, a federated data sharing network that will provide governments better access to their data, facilitate data exchange and promote leadership and innovation.

Australian governments are also working together to progress Heavy Vehicle Road Reform, which includes a nationally-consistent set of service level standards (SLS) for roads. Development of the SLS will capture data on current service levels of Australian roads, as well as information on the service levels road users expect of Australian roads. This data will guide where road investments should be prioritised, and establish what road users are charged for. The SLS will be reviewed every few years to take into account new information, changing customer preferences and new technologies and road users, such as connected and automated vehicles.