Functional Safety Case Study: FS-US-03

Customer type: Mobility Startup

Location: West Coast USA

Status: Ongoing (Nov 2019 onwards)

Summary: A novel start-up with a focus on connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), this client needed an experienced consultant to add some specific domain knowledge gaps to their established Functional Safety team who have been executing development for some time.  Support has been provided via a workshop format, allowing for flexibility in content and delivery that has brought the following benefits:

  • Accelerated development by being able to progress with architectural decisions in hardware and software without having to complete all of the Functional Safety lifecycle steps
  • Development of an automotive-biased operational culture that brings in specific relevant experience and aligns with their in-house experiences (which are mostly from the aligned industries)
  • Rapid establishment of software development process at different integrity levels and aligned to Functional Safety needs. This means an efficient development process which places greater focus on the higher integrity components, whilst avoiding over-engineering others.

This project continues to be supported.

Description: This client is well into its development of Level 4 autonomy with a bespoke, EV vehicle platform that offers specific benefits over retro-fitting autonomy to a non-autonomous vehicle.  We continue to support them as they move towards readiness to deliver their mobility service.

Over the course of several months we have been supporting this client with a series of Functional Safety expert workshops, delivered by our Senior Consultant in CA.  The client already has a Functional Safety team which is well versed in their product, has an overall approach to functional, and wider operational safety, and is integrated into their development teams. However, they identified some specific knowledge gaps, where bridging between their current domain knowledge and automotive is needed for this new transportation service and technology.

The workshops we have supplied so far have covered topics such as:

  • Review of the safety approach, including fusion of aspects from other domain standards with automotive ISO 26262
  • Deep dives into the architecture including high integrity solutions, monitoring and redundancy for their planning and vehicle interface. This has included review of safe-state and fail-operational strategies (including minimal risk manoeuvre (MRM))
  • Review of their approach to perception, including advice on strategies to deal with random failures, systematic (coding) and systematic (data) failures with their Machine Learning (ML) based elements of perception
  • Review their systems development process, requirements structure and ties in with their architectural organization and layers, utilizing best-practice from broader sources such as INCOSE
  • Review of their software development process and establishment of bespoke integrity categories which align to requirements of and requirements exceeding ISO 26262.

Standards involved:                        

  • ISO 26262 Parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9
  • Other non-automotive functional safety standards