Futuristic view on Functional Safety of Automobile E/E components

New E/E-based safety systems are being developed to assist drivers of the vehicle as well as the traffic participants. Moreover, its development to combat with advanced sensor technologies and procedures involving signal processing in the automotive industry is undisputed. Automobile manufacturers have started applying draft standard guidelines of ISO 26262 in order to initiate state of art technology as well as adhering with concept of ‘functional safety.’ In the current scenario, the domain of safety is embodied in passive safety systems as well as in the arena of vehicle dynamics. The whole dynamics of automobile processes have welcomed standardization in order to provide guidance in manufacture of its E/E components and such other ancillaries. The ISO 26262 standards encompass complete lifecycle of vehicle manufacture in sync with concept of ‘Functional Safety.’

ASIL related safety procedures as well as the management of functional safety are compiled in the 10 volumes of the standard ISO 26262. A safety requirement in a particular process is generated upon possibility of risk, estimated as a probability due to an outcome of some unwanted event or any other factor related to controllability by driver, any of these which may lead to ASIL. The standard invokes four probable levels namely, A, B, C and D, wherein A is the level demanding least strictness whereas D requiring maximum stringency.

Integration of Safety Process

With the application of ISO 26262, stable concepts ensuring vehicle safety can be derived at the initial stages of development process, by optimal risk assessment and analysis of possible hazards. The faults or errors apparent during later stages can be drastically reduced, if not eliminated, by designing stable safety concept. However, if ISO 26262 has to be implemented during the later stages, it could be very tedious. This is because the aim of ISO 26262 is to instill standards into development of the car. Thus, if the standard is sought to be implemented in later stages of development, it will tend to contradict the concept behind the regulatory standard in the first place.

Safety case requirement is explicitly implied in ISO 26262 mandate at its introduction. Electrical and electronic systems have to comply with safety case requirement as per the automotive safety standard ISO 26262. The activities of the standard produces set of work products, which are implied to be ISO 26262 safety case. However, organizations are required to demonstrate its work products rather than just satisfy their compliance with the standard by mere indulging in box ticking. In fact, Part 10 of ISO 26262 mandate explains characteristics of a safety case. In this parlance, ISO 26262 is informative in approach. Moreover, as independent functional assessment is required by the regulatory standard ISO 26262, the assessor has to ensure that assurance argument is contained in the safety case. However there is qualification attached to this. The standards of production dictate the potential for safety cases by gap of some significance. Likewise, independent functional safety assessment is not required for ASIL A or ASIL B, but only an applicable requirement for ASIL C or ASIL D. Moreover, ASIL D controls complete independence in release authority, financial and managerial functions. Safety case denotes essentially process safety argument communicated by ISO 26262. Read also more here.


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Posted on February 17, 2012, in ALL, Electric / Electronic. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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