Development Challenges in Meeting Safety Standards in Autonomous Vehicles

Tim Anderson | November 28, 2017


Complex development projects are a little like putting together a massive jigsaw puzzle: All the pieces are there, but sometimes how they fit together doesn’t become clear until real progress is already made.

The complexity is magnified when the project in question involves intricate microelectronics, software with billions of lines of code and hundreds of development teams who must work harmoniously to ensure functional safety standards are met. Not to mention hitting moving regulatory targets and the ever-present pressure to quickly deliver a complete, industry-compliant product to market.

We’re talking about a technology that not long ago was the stuff of science fiction; autonomous vehicles, systems for which code failure can lead to actual tragedy.

Bringing Teams (and Data) Together

When developing for a system with so many moving parts, every member of the development team using the same processes and platforms is a must to ensure safety compliance. To hedge against mistakes, teams must also be in sync, irrespective of core skill set or geography.

For companies whose businesses are based on constant innovation, getting all of these ducks in a row is a challenge.

As we detail at length in our recent paper, Driving Compliance with Functional Safety Standards, a Fortune 100 semiconductor company recently faced many of these hurdles, and deployed Jama Software to help clear them.

The semiconductor company knew this, and put together an integrated ALM solution supporting ISO 26262 compliance with Jama Software at its core.

Simplification as a Productivity Booster

Standardization of processes includes reducing oversized sets of tools and applications into a manageable roster of best-in-class solutions. Eliminating cumbersome or unnecessary apps enhances process efficiency for development teams at every stage.

The ALM solution they deployed enabled end-to-end requirements, functions, implementations and tests throughout the life-cycle process, as well as providing support for new functional safety and quality regulations, ensuring development teams can pass product audits and avoid costly delays due to rework.

The result was a well-oiled development machine. By hitting requirements the first time, the semiconductor company was able to accelerate its development cycles, delivering better finished products while achieving higher customer satisfaction.

Incorporating the proper toolsets to track development and document product safety compliance— a necessary step to avoid being buried by the challenges in a complex development project— further facilitated the process.

The standardization of toolsets and platforms meant that with each handoff on the developer chain, the teams could see their counterparts were all following processes as laid out by functional safety requirements.

Projects of this magnitude inherently put pressure on developers to keep their eye on the prize without being distracted by the countless shiny objects drifting across their line of sight. By simplifying processes, homing in on the best tools for the job and facilitating communication with partners and consortiums, development teams can tend to their own gardens.

Download "Driving Compliance with Functional Safety Standards for Software-Based Automotive Components" Now