Connected Vehicle Technology
Connected Vehicle Certification

Research Overview

Connected vehicle certification is the process of ensuring that system components meet the necessary requirements to perform as intended. Certification ensures that components that are manufactured according to connected vehicle technology requirements will be trusted by the system and by users.  The vision for the Certification research is to work in close cooperation with public and private partners to establish appropriate certification requirements for equipment.

Research Goals

  • To work with industry to define certification needs and to develop supporting test methods and tools.
  • To develop a plan so that in the future, certification activities will become self-sustaining through fees for testing; development of new requirements and test methods will be shaped by the organizations seeking those requirements.

Research Approach
A successful deployment using connected vehicle technologies must address the inherent risks to consumer safety, security, and privacy associated with a system breakdown. With national interoperability comes the opportunity to establish national standards and criteria for certification of individual products that will have access to the system, system processes, and operational procedures. Because this is a new high-risk industry without an established consumer base, the Federal Government finds that an appropriate role is to work with industry to develop certification processes and procedures independently. The ultimate form that a certifying entity would take, and the role of Government in oversight and enforcement of requirements, are yet to be determined and will be investigated as part of both the technical research program as well as research into connected vehicle policy and institutional issues.

Certification research will be primarily focused on understanding the needs for device compliance, system security, and privacy requirements. The ITS Program will conduct the following research activities in support of certification:

  • Policy Research Related to Certification — Establish a forum for solving policy-related issues, including determining what is to be certified, what entity is responsible for certification, and what parties need to obtain certification. This research is included within connected vehicle policy research program, and it is envisioned that Government (U.S. DOT and State/local) will have the lead role in this research area.
  • Technical Requirements for Certification— Define what level of items within a device or what interfaces need to be certified and how to accomplish the certification. It is envisioned that Government and industry will share responsibility for this area of work. However, Government will have a primary role in funding developments prior to a consumer market emerging for certified products. Government will serve as an enabler and coordinator of this function.
  • Implementation Support and Oversight — Executing the planned certification scheme will likely be done by a third-party entity. This includes development of test tools and methods. However, Government may have a role in assisting with start-up, and in overseeing operation and adherence to standards. This implies an ongoing operational role for Government beyond the scope of research.

Milestones for certification activities must match related milestones in the other program roadmaps. For instance, a 2013 milestone for potential rulemaking on equipment requirements in vehicles must be matched by a similar milestone to have certification requirements and processes established in time for implementation of the rule. More specific milestones will be established in conjunction with the development of the individual program roadmaps.

Research Outcomes:

The outcomes are intended to deliver:

  • Nationwide interoperability of system components.
  • Elimination of inherent risks to consumer safety, security, and privacy in the event of a whole or partial system breakdown.
  • Establishment of an oversight structure (governance structure) that will provide the processes and procedures for system access as well as system enforcement.
  • An open, well-defined process that allows manufacturers to know the system requirements in order to provide trustworthy components.

Program Tracks

Track 1 – Certification Process Framework
The key objective of this track is to develop a framework that can be applied to all of the certification processes needed at all of the interfaces within the V to V and V to I system identified for policy reasons.  Establishing a framework will help to assure that all certification processes will be created with the same level of rigor. 

Track 2 – Safety Pilot/Model Deployment Support
The key objective of the track is to test the certification process framework on one critical interface that will be used in the Safety Pilot/Model Deployment.  Using an independent certification process will help to assure that the devices used in the Safety Pilot/Model Deployment will meet the level of interoperability needed in the tests.  This track will emphasis only the technical aspect of certification processes.

Track 3 – Certification Pilot
Management and oversight aspects of a certification will be added to the technical processes established during Track 2 and then, the complete certification process will be executed on later-stage Safety Pilot/Model Deployment material.  The combination of policy and technical aspects of certification will be exercised on a real-world example.

Track 4 – Certification Establishment
The key objective of Track 4 is to establish the initial certification services needed to support early deployments of V to V and V to I technology and the applications enabled by it.  Lessons learned for the Certification Pilot and parallel policy development activities will guide this activity.


Research Contacts

To learn more about this research, contact:

Walton Fehr
Program Manager, Systems Engineering
ITS Joint Program Office
Research and Innovative Technology Administration
(202) 366-0278


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