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Automotive Functional Safety ISO 26262 covers all of the functional safety aspects of the entire development process, such as requirements specification, design, implementation, integration, verification, validation and configuration.

The goal of the standard is to ensure safety throughout the lifecycle of automotive equipment and systems.

ISO 26262 introduced those standards to the automotive industry in 2011, however, rapidly evolving automotive technology resulted in a new standard published in 2018. The standard has now expanded to cover all road vehicles, including motorcycles, trucks, buses, trailers and semitractor-trailers.

Other changes include guidelines for:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Semiconductors
  • Safety of the Intended Functionality (SOTIF)

With rapid advancement of autonomous vehicle technology, there will likely be additional updates to the standard. While these additional updates are necessary, they add levels of complexity to compliance that require thoughtful planning and consideration.

ISO 26262 requires that hardware and software safety concerns be addressed and documented throughout the product lifecycle. Though safety design was considered part of general requirements activity in the past, hardware and software teams working in isolation in automotive development does not guarantee the kind of functional safety coverage required by ISO 26262.

While many tools do a great job of requirements management and traceability during a particular phase, they don’t provide a good auditable trail for traceability between phases.

Specific steps are required in each phase. This ensures safety from the earliest concept to the point when the vehicle is retired.

ISO 26262 shows teams how to assign an acceptable risk level and document the overall mitigation process. Vendors need to convince customers that their tools won’t introduce problems; traceability offers a way to ensure that new versions of a tool won’t break existing software or hardware.

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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