Home Engineering Verifiable Privacy Protection for Vehicular Communication Systems
Companies want you to be secure, but not against them.
— Whitfield Diffie, 2015 
In this chapter, we give an introduction to vehicular communication and provide background information on privacy. We introduce the notion of verifiable privacy protection, before we describe the specific privacy threats that arise in vehicular communication systems.
This section describes the basics of vehicular communication, focusing on intervehicular communication (IVC) based on Vehicle-to-X (V2X) communication, which comprises Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication. V2X communication is sometimes also referred to as Car- to-X (C2X) communication and IVC systems are also called Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks (VANETs) or Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). Cellular connectivity can also be seen as an aspect of vehicular communication and is used in the protocols presented in this thesis but is not subject to our examinations.
Motivation and use cases
Today, driving is safer than ever thanks to advances in active and passive safety systems. Still, the harm caused by traffic accidents is dramatically high and calls for further action: In 2013, 32 719 people were killed in accidents in the U.S. and 3 339 in Germany . In Germany alone, a total of 2.4 million accidents resulted in 374 142 injured  and an estimated economic harm of 32.5 billion EUR in 2013 .
Another challenge we face today are the time and resources wasted in traffic jams: A recent study estimates the economic harm of traffic jams in 2013 to be 124.16 billion USD for the U.S. and 33.48 billion USD for Germany, and expects the numbers to rise 50% and 31% respectively by 2030 [45, p. 5].
Finally, emission of greenhouse gases such as CO2 must be reduced in order to fight climate change. While a reduction can be observed in the last years, the 2012 emissions from road transportation are still almost 20% above the 1990 baseline, both in Europe [187, p. 130] and in the U.S. [199, p. 2-27].
Inter-vehicular communication (IVC) systems based on V2X communication are expected to deliver improvements for all of the challenges described above with its safety and traffic efficiency applications. Using ad-hoc radio communication, a variety of information can be exchanged between vehicles or with traffic infrastructure. The communication complements conventional on-board sensors and increases the vehicles’ perception beyond line of sight: Cooperative Awareness Messages (CAMs) are continuously emitted by all participating vehicles. The messages contain the sender’s location, speed, and direction of travel and allow for applications like Intersection Collision Avoidance (ICA), which warns drivers if other vehicles are detected that are on a collision course. Event-based Decentralized Environmental Notification Messages (DENMs) are forwarded over several hops and can be used to warn vehicles of hazardous situations such as the end of a traffic jam on the highway. Signal Phase and Timing (SPaT) messages sent out by traffic lights enable the Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA) application, which allows drivers to adjust their speed to a “green wave”. The geocast communication mechanism allows sending messages addressed to all vehicles in a specific region. Schoch et al. give an overview over the different communication patterns in IVC systems . Figure 2.1 shows examples for warnings and messages from the different V2X functions.
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