Avoiding failure with ISO 26262

October 04, 2018

KurtShuler-October 04, 2018

If an automated vehicle crashes on the road, it may trigger a financial catastrophe not only for car manufacturer, but the entire supply chain involved in developing the failed system.

In the move towards autonomous driving cars and the implementation of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), ISO 26262 functional safety standards have been thrust to the forefront of system design. Understanding and correctly implementing an ISO 26262 compliance program can mean the difference between economic success and failure.

If an automated vehicle crashes on the road, it may trigger a financial catastrophe not only for car manufacturer, but the entire supply chain involved in developing the failed system. Failures on the road can end up costing automakers significantly more than if the bug was discovered during the development process. Adding further complications for carmakers is the increasing design complexity, software content, and mechatronic implementation used in these new electronic systems. Each technology can contribute to the risk of a systematic failure. So how do we get ISO 26262 functional safety and compliance right? How can automotive design engineers successfully drive through complicated technologies and the ISO 26262 approved?

This article will provide a look into how the automotive supply chain can manage the assessments and audits required to achieve ISO 26262 compliance .

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Figure 1: Ensure that safety mechanisms are able to detect the failure mode for a specific function. (Source: Arteris IP)

The ISO 26262 standard encompasses all aspects of electronics development—specifications, design, implementation, integration, verification, and validation—to provide a unifying safety standard for entire automotive electronic systems. These systems are then assessed for one of the five Automotive Safety Integrity Levels (ASILs): QM, A, B, C, and D.

The automotive electronics supply chain must provide detailed information, including analyses, education, and documentation, for every item in the system that involves safety. Vendors must provide automakers with documents that detail the organization’s steps in preparing their people, processes, and products for functional safety standard compliance.

Failure to conduct ISO 26262 assessments properly for personnel, process, and product qualifications could result in product rejection by companies further up the supply chain.  If wach member of the supply chain does not assess their vendors’ qualifications correctly, it will leave automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Tier-1s at risk of using components that will not pass the assessment audits required to certify electronic systems. One of the big issues with semiconductor assessments is that we often pay most of our attention to assessing the efficacy of product safety mechanisms while failing to adequately understand the qualifications of the people and process used to design these items.

People, Process, and Product: The 3 Ps

The ISO 26262 standard mandates a system of information sharing that requires lengthy and extensive exchanges between intellectual property (IP) suppliers, system-on-chip (SoC) developers, component and module vendors, software solution providers, and electronic system designers. It addresses all the critical components required to comply with functional safety guidelines, procedures, training levels, audits, and assessments.


>> Continue reading this article on our sister site, EE Times: "How to Not Fail ISO 26262."



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