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Anyone involved in design for automotive electronics probably has a pretty good working knowledge of the ISO 26262 standard, which ensures that sufficient levels of safety are being met and maintained throughout the vehicle lifecycle.

What many people both inside and outside the automotive industry don’t realize is that the original ISO 26262 standard published in 2011 was significantly updated in 2018. This update is formally known as ISO 26262:2018, less formally as ISO 26262 2nd Edition.

The updated version of ISO 26262 is due in large part to increased security issues, which weren’t that big a concern in 2011.

How should security be factored into safety analysis? Part 2, “Management of functional safety,” of the updated spec takes a step toward this by requiring a design organization create and maintain “effective communication channels” between functional safety, cybersecurity and other organizations relevant to functional safety.

Experts in safety standards believe overall, there’s a lot of good progress in ISO 26262:2018, 2nd Edition, in plugging holes that have become apparent over time and making it easier to understand and use.

In fact, that may be the best way to view this update; cleaning up and refining safety requirements and guidance. However, ISO 26262:2018 does not address the non-systematic and random safety issues that will occur with autonomous systems using neural networks.

That is addressed in the in the SOTIF (Safety of the Intended Functionality) standard, ISO 21448, which identifies and addresses performance shortfalls in autonomous vehicle systems that occur even in the absence of a system failure.

But for engineers working on level 3 and beyond systems, both the original ISO 26262 and the update should be on your bookshelf. Add to that the SOTIF standard and even ISO/PAS 21448:2019.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers Automotive Functional Safety ISO 26262 Training Bootcamp, a 4-day bootcamp style course that covers the background of ISO 26262 standard, its scope, the main differences from IEC 61508 (the general safety standard), and how the scope varies with adding new systems.

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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