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ISO 26262 mandates a functional safety development process that automotive OEMs and suppliers must follow and document to have their devices qualified to run inside commercial (passenger) vehicles. 

ISO 26262 is a risk-based standard that’s derived from IEC 61508 and outlines a risk classification system (Automotive Safety Integrity Levels, or ASILs) and aims to reduce possible hazards caused by the malfunctioning behavior of electrical and electronic (E/E) systems.

A functional safety standard like ISO 26262 ensures that automotive components do what they’re supposed to do, precisely when they’re supposed to do it.

Adherence to ISO 26262 requires extensive documentation and testing, which can be extremely time-consuming. It requires that engineers first assess their design software for Tool Confidence Levels.

Although ISO 26262 provides a shared vocabulary for automotive safety, several of the definitions in the ASIL classification are more informative than they are prescriptive―leaving room for interpretation among automotive component suppliers. In response, the 2018 edition of ISO 26262 contains an extended vocabulary with more detailed objectives. Also, the SAE issued J2980 – Considerations for ISO 26262 ASIL Hazard Classification, providing more explicit guidance for assessing hazard levels.

Additionally, ISO 26262 underwent a major update and added two new standards: requirements for semiconductors and for motorcycles, trucks and buses. Guidance was added on model based development, software safety analysis, dependent failure analysis, fault tolerance and more. 

ISO 26262’s Automotive Safety Integrity Levels (ASILs) are based on three variables: severity, probability of exposure and controllability by the driver.

Since ISO 26262 assumes that someone is driving the vehicle, it doesn’t directly pertain to fully autonomous vehicles. But as full vehicle autonomy is on the roadmap for the automotive industry, functional safety remains mission-critical and the ISO 26262 standard will continue to evolve.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers ISO 26262: Automotive Safety, a 2-day course that helps participants develop their internal ISO 26262, implement it, and audit their company’s performance internally. This course is a combination of interactive lectures and practical activities, including labs, group activities and hands-on workshops. 

Want to learn more? Tonex offers ISO 26262: Automotive Safety, a 2-day course that helps participants develop their internal ISO 26262, implement it, and audit their company’s performance internally. This course is a combination of interactive lectures and practical activities, including labs, group activities and hands-on workshops. 

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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