A Systematic Literature Review on Automotive Digital Forensics: Challenges, Technical Solutions and Data Collection
Journal article, 2022

A modern vehicle has a complex internal architecture and is wirelessly connected to the Internet, other vehicles, and the infrastructure. The risk of cyber attacks and other criminal incidents along with recent road accidents caused by autonomous vehicles calls for more research on automotive digital forensics. Failures in automated driving functions can be caused by hardware and software failures and cyber security issues. Thus, it is imperative to be able to determine and investigate the cause of these failures, something which requires trustable data. However, automotive digital forensics is a relatively new field for the automotive where most existing self-monitoring and diagnostic systems in vehicles only monitor safety-related events. To the best of our knowledge, our work is the first systematic literature review on the current research within this field. We identify and assess over 300 papers published between 2006 - 2021 and further map the relevant papers to different categories based on identified focus areas to give a comprehensive overview of the forensics field and the related research activities. Moreover, we identify forensically relevant data from the literature, link the data to categories, and further map them to required security properties and potential stakeholders. Our categorization makes it easy for practitioners and researchers to quickly find relevant work within a particular sub-field of digital forensics. We believe our contributions can guide digital forensic investigations in automotive and similar areas, such as cyber-physical systems and smart cities, facilitate further research, and serve as a guideline for engineers implementing forensics mechanisms.

V2X communication

cyber attacks

forensics mechanisms

automotive forensics

vehicle architecture

forensic solutions

car forensics

forensic investigations

cyber security

vehicle forensics

in-vehicle network

forensics guidelines


Kim Strandberg

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Networks and Systems (Chalmers)

Volvo Cars

Nasser Nowdehi

Volvo Group

Tomas Olovsson

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Networks and Systems (Chalmers)

IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Vehicles

23798858 (eISSN)

Vol. 8 2 1350-1367

Cyber Resilience for Vehicles - Cybersecurity for automotive systems in a changing environment (CyReV phase 2)

VINNOVA (2019-03071), 2019-01-10 -- 2022-03-31.

Subject Categories

Software Engineering

Vehicle Engineering

Embedded Systems



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