The issue of safety has always been one of the most important topics for the automotive industry. The announcement made by Toyota last year for the recall of their defective vehicles only serves to highlight how costly defects can be not only for the company’s balance sheet but also costly in terms of eroded consumers’ confidence. New technologies introduced to enhance vehicle control and driver assistance have now become standard accessories rather than optional. In addition, a recent regulation approved by the European Parliament laid out the requirements for type approvals of motor vehicles on their safety aspects calls for the introduction of these new safety features as a prerequisite. As such, the need for an internationally recognized standard for safety critical systems becomes more crucial to measure how safe a system is.
Unlike other industries, detailed discussions about functional safety in the automotive industry only began a few years ago. One of the reasons was that there was a prevailing view that the risks posed as a result of mechanical failures are still within the control of the driver. A driver merely had to stop the motor vehicle to bring the motor vehicle to a safe state. But we now know that this is not always possible when there is a failure in the drive-by-wire throttle system, as illustrated in the cases of gas pedal failures in Toyota cars in 2010.
Although there were existing standards on functional safety like the IEC 61508, this standard is not dedicated to the auto industry. The application of a non dedicated functional safety standard within different firms will not result in harmonization of functional safety objectives as different interpretations of the standard will ensue.
Read a full 5-page article on the requirements of ISO 26262 covering details like development models, approaches, implementation steps and much more: Download Requirements of ISO 26262