Dual degree in electrical engineering - focus on functional safety and cybersecurity

Autonomous driving and safety

The future of the automobile is autonomous - that much seems certain. Self-driving cars should use wireless Car-to-X communication to network with each other and with the infrastructure in order to exchange information and to make payment transactions using the Internet of Things (IoT) or block chain. This can e.g. the sharing of information about a danger point (e.g. black ice) or a transaction at the petrol station or in the parking garage.

Furthermore, with the use of artificial intelligence (AI), the vehicles are to gain more and more autonomy so that they learn to independently assess and react to traffic and danger situations.

For drivers, autonomy is a relief (exemption) from the driving task, which also has two further advantages: time savings and a new driving experience. Occupants should be given opportunities for activities that they would otherwise not be able to carry out or even should not be permitted from a legal perspective. To name just a few examples: surfing the Internet, shopping, watching films, reading, working, sleeping, and much more.

However, this autonomy can only take place if it is sufficiently secure.

The Autonomy should be a relief from the driving task, a time saving or a driver experience for the driver. However, it poses major challenges for vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers, as they would be liable in the event of damage if they do not comply with applicable standards during development. Due to wireless networking and the ever-increasing number of functionalities, there are numerous known and unknown security gaps. This is exactly where the two areas of security - functional security and cybersecurity - come into play. Possible dangers and threats to the physical integrity of occupants and third-party road users or the violation of the privacy of the occupants are analyzed, for example. Afterwards, goals and measures are defined in the form of safety requirements for the development of autonomous driving functions and their implementation is accompanied until their completion in order to reduce the initial existing safety risk to an acceptable level.

In concrete terms, this means that both safety-related errors/malfunctions/failure caused by electrical/electronic (E/E) systems as well as suspected interventions that enter the system from outside must either be prevented or detected at an early stage and the affected systems must be in a safe state. Autonomous driving functions (from level 3) must remain operational at least temporarily. Functional security and cybersecurity play an essential role in this.

While Functional Security (Internal Security) deals with hazards caused by the system itself (e.g. hardware or software errors in the ECU), cybersecurity aims to address threats posed by external intrusion into the system (e.g. suspected hacker attack).

Functional security and cyber security are essential in the automotive industry and will continue to become more and more important in the future.

In summary, we offer you the opportunity to receive a comprehensive development process and to help shape the future and autonomy of "safe and secure".

What is your dual study at EFS like?

You study at our cooperation university DHBW Lörrach in a 3-year dual course, which rotates in 3-month time windows between a theoretical part at the university and a practical part at our location in Gaimersheim.

In the theoretical phase, you start with the basic course in electrical engineering and get the first theoretical and practical basics. This is followed by a specialization in automation with a focus on functional security and cybersecurity. Here you will learn about specific systems such as safety-related systems, reliable security techniques and modern bus systems.

In the practical phases, you apply your acquired knowledge by first working on projects under supervision and then working on sub-projects yourself during the further course of your studies.

Start in the world of functional safety and cybersecurity from October 1st 2021!

Apply here!

We are looking for smart people with their own ideas and passion for chassis development.