Functional Safety

Functional safety forms an integral part of overall system safety and is primarily concerned with the avoidance of hazardous effects associated with malfunctioning behaviour of complex and highly integrated electrical/electronic control systems.

Since the modern vehicle may contain over 100 microprocessors, around 100 million lines of software code, have over 85% of its functions influenced by software and 40% of the entire vehicle architecture comprising of electrical/electronic components, functional safety is an essential part of vehicle engineering.

State-of-the-art practices for automotive functional safety require that design, verification and validation activities are embedded into product development processes, typically integrated into a classic automotive “V” model.  Functional safety is therefore intended to be “designed in” to complex vehicle electrical/electronic control systems as they are developed to ensure overall product safety. 

In modern times, many challenges exist for functional safety, including:

  • The ever-increasing levels of vehicle features and functions controlled by electrical/electronic systems
  • The highly distributed nature of these electrical/electronic systems
  • The electrification of vehicles and the adoption of new technologies such as advanced electrical machines and energy storage systems
  • The growing demand for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)
  • The drive for autonomous and connected vehicles
  • The threat of the cyber criminal

At HORIBA MIRA, functional safety forms part of a wider engineering discipline known as Vehicle Resilience (VRES) which ensures that current and future electrical/electronic vehicle content will be safe, secure and functional as technological advancements are realised.

HORIBA MIRA is a leading independent provider of functional safety expertise and has over 100 years combined experience within our team.  HORIBA MIRA’s expertise is not limited to the automotive domain with recent projects including off-highway vehicles, defence and industrial control applications.  We have experience working to safety standards such as ISO 26262, IEC 61508, ISO 13849, ISO 15998, Def Stan 00-56 and the MISRA documents.

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