Thesis work - Smartphone based Driver Identification

ACTIA Nordic - Ås


ACTIA Nordic AB is a leading designer and manufacturer of vehicle communication equipment. Through the years, ACTIA has delivered communication and diagnostics solution to customers such as Volvo Cars, Jaguar Land Rover, SCANIA, and Volvo Trucks.

ACTIA Department:

System Engineering


Some vehicle theft protection systems today require the driver to carry a secondary identification device, in addition to the normal car key. This device is normally some type of battery powered radio tag. The solution leads to both an extra hardware cost and is an inconvenience to the driver.


Replace the need for the additional hardware with using the driver’s smartphone as an identification device:

Expected Implementation:

  • Select a suitable technology based on what commonly exists in both smartphones and in ACTIA’s Telematic Control Units (Bluetooth / Low Energy, WiFi, LTE)
  • Define the principles for how to apply the technology in this specific use case, including:
    • How to reliably detect whether an approved smartphone is in the vehicle or not
    • Wireless protocols and mechanisms
    • The processes for securely pairing/unpairing a smartphone with a Telematic Control Unit, given the constraints (e.g. no keyboard or display, convenience to the owner, workshop tools etc.)
  • Analyse the solution from a cybersecurity perspective, such as
    • resilience to replay, man-in-the-middle and relay attacks
    • preventing non-intended devices from pairing
    • protocol attacks
  • Implement and evaluate a Proof of Concept
    • This will likely involve programming in ACTIA’s TCU (Embedded Linux), and may also involve smartphone programming
  • Optional future look-ahead:
    • Consider more recent technologies such as UWB.
    • Consider building on new existing standards for “Phone as a car key”
    • Consider other smart wearables

Time period: Spring 2022

Contact: [email protected]; 0708309687

Location: ACTIA Tech-center in Mjärdevi, Linköping.

Tutor at ACTIA: TBA

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