Over the last decade, the automotive industry has emerged as one of the most innovative sectors in the world. Not only big players, but also start-ups are working on their self-engineered systems: from powertrain systems, autonomous driving, active safety systems to infotainment. They all need to be reliable as human health and life depend on their correct design, implementation and testing.
Each element located in a vehicle may affect the safety of passengers. It is obvious that powertrain and active safety systems should protect humans. However, it must be remembered that malfunction of any other component can have a negative impact on driver reaction time. Imagine a situation when a software bug in the infotainment system unexpectedly increases music volume to the maximum level and prevents its turning off – in a car moving at a speed of 140 kilometers per hour on a highway. The bug itself is not dangerous but the human reaction to such an unpredictable event or an attempt to take control over it may lead to taking the driver’s attention off the road and, in consequence, causing a serious traffic accident.
To minimize the chances of such situations to occur, all automotive systems must be designed and developed with human safety in mind.
— We are witnessing a revolution in automotive, both in terms of powertrain and onboard electronics. Currently, there are over 70 Electronic Control Units in a more advanced car but the industry is heading towards a concept of a powerful central computer with a few smaller units. Such architecture will require even more rigorous design and development processes — says Szymon Karaś, Head of Automotive Industry at Sii Poland.
To help with that, standardization offices created ISO 26262 (Road Vehicles – Functional Safety) and Automotive SPICE standards – based on ISO/IEC 15504 (Software Process Improvement and Capability Determination (SPICE)).
Find out more about the specifics of each of those processes in our PDF document, where we described the most significant aspects of safety systems tests in the automotive industry. Learn more about our offer dedicated to the automotive industry and embedded systems.