/ Professional articles

Driving to Safety

OEM&Lieferant | September 2020

By Frank Poignee and Riadh Dhaoui (both infoteam Software AG)

Get in, name your destination, drive off and arrive safely - that is the vision of autonomous driving. This scenario is already technically possible. However, it is not yet possible to predict when the changeover from the current "manual, assisted by assistance systems" to the future "fully autonomous" transport of people and goods by land, sea and air will take place. In addition to numerous other factors, safety aspects play a decisive role.

Apart from a few exceptions, there are currently only vehicles on public roads that reach level 2 at best. This classification means that although the vehicle has combined automatic functions such as acceleration and steering, the driver remains busy with the driving task and must monitor the surroundings at all times. To achieve higher levels, it is necessary, among other things, to minimize the residual risks of such systems to an acceptable level with regard to their functional safety. At the same time, the sheer infinite number of conceivable scenarios leads to a veritable explosion in the complexity of automated systems and thus becomes a challenge for their developers.

Proof of quality

The security requirements for the systems are known. However, the challenge is to be able to prove that sufficient quality has been achieved. The IEC 61508 standard as the currently valid guideline defines exactly the safety requirement levels (SIL) and the risk limits for the levels SIL 1 to 4. For autonomously driving cars, the ISO 26262 standard also applies in Europe, in which the levels are designated ASIL A to D.

Among other things, the ISO 26262 standard defines the terms and activities of functional safety for electrical and electronic systems in motor vehicles. Functional safety (FuSi) is the absence of an unreasonable risk that could be caused by failures of hardware or software in a vehicle.

Understanding of standards

In the software development process - including FuSi - there should be a deep understanding of the requirements anchored in the relevant standards. Only then can proof that the requirements of the relevant standards have been fulfilled be good and effective. infoteam is represented in committees of the DKE and IEC and is involved in the requirements for functional safety, among other things.

infoteam's many years of expertise with customer software projects includes technical support, from requirements analysis to accompanying certification. The cooperation takes place over the entire software product life cycle, which also enables the development of functionally safe software modules and software systems up to the highest safety requirement level in the respective standard, such as IEC 61508, ISO 26262, EN 5012x or ISO 13849.

Focus on customer requirements

When developing software, infoteam always focuses on the specific requirements of the customer. Due to increasingly complex project requirements in the field of adaptive AI algorithms, infoteam accompanies not only "classic" functional safety projects but also projects focusing on functional safety for AI-based systems. With regard to Functional Safety, these requirements are analyzed and implemented on the software side in compliance with the applicable standards. Safety and Security by Design thus accompanies the life cycle of the development of safe software applications and has a significant influence on the success of the project.

Click here for the article in the "OEM&Lieferant".

Foto © Erwin Wodicka

Angela Ringlein, Marketing Communications Manager


+49 9131 78 00-113

  • Corporate Communications
  • Industrial & Building Automation
  • Machine Building
  • Transportation
  • Rail Technology
  • Energy
  • Public Service