Get in Line: Ongoing Co-Presence Verification of a Vehicle Formation Based on Driving Trajectories

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • University of Oxford
  • University of Helsinki


Intelligent transportation systems and the advent of smart cities have created a renewed research interest in vehicular networks (VANET). These ad-hoc networks are the key technology for new collaborative approaches to increase the efficiency and safety of our roads. In effect, city-scale field trials are being conducted by major high-tech companies to explore the capabilities and limitations of vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communication. Initial advances have led to safety enhancing applications like electronic emergency brake light, cooperative collision avoidance and cooperative adaptive cruise control. In IEEE standard 1609.2, security measures to guarantee the integrity and authenticity of VANET messages are specified. However, physical properties like spatial proximity and driving direction are not considered. These become notably important when vehicles make decisions that concern the safety of users for example to avoid a collision.

We propose a novel approach to verify the ongoing co-presence of two vehicles. Our method is based on the observation that the trajectory through a road network can be used to uniquely define a vehicle's location as well as its driving direction. Our system provides a protocol to authenticate VANET messages for a group of vehicles driving in succession and to de-authenticate vehicles that have left the formation.

To demonstrate the feasibility of trajectories as proof for co-presence, we implemented a smartphone application and conducted driving experiments under real-world conditions. We analyze the road network of several major cities from different continents to show the generalizability of our approach. Additionally, we systematically evaluate the security properties of our system by performing city-scale simulations under realistic conditions.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 3rd IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy, EURO S and P 2018
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventIEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 24 Apr 201826 Apr 2018
Conference number: 3


ConferenceIEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy
Abbreviated titleIEEE EuroS&P
CountryUnited Kingdom

    Research areas

  • Authentication, distributed systems security, Mobile security and privacy, Systems security, co-presence verification, platooning, road train, VANET

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