Tag Archive for: automotive development


Jama Software is always on the lookout for news and content to benefit and inform our industry partners. As such, we’ve curated a series of articles that we found insightful. In this blog post, we share content sourced from Supply Chain Dive – Robotics and Automation Go Mainstream  – which was originally published on January 25, 2022, by Jen A. Miller.

Robotics and Automation Go Mainstream

Editor’s note: This article is the latest in a series that looks into the ways supply chains, warehouses and manufacturing facilities are investing in technology. Here’s the previous story.

Robots are often in the news for sensational reasons: The Boston Dynamics robot dog impersonates Mick Jagger; a Spider-Man “stuntronic” flies over Disneyland visitors.

But in supply chain, robotics and automation have gone from something radical, even fringe, to mainstream.

“It’s considered low risk. And, pretty soon, it’s going to be table stakes for operations within supply chain, where 10 years ago it was considered either cutting, or bleeding edge, or risky,” said Jeff Christensen, vice president of product at Seegrid.

Annual installations of industrial robots will jump from 450,000 a year in 2015 to 600,000 in 2022, according to a McKinsey projection. The firm also predicted that 10% of today’s manufacturing processes will be replaced by additive manufacturing by 2030.

A confluence of factors — including the pandemic, labor shortages, and technology maturing at the right time — is pushing robotics ahead in 2021 and beyond.

Robotics mature, along with AI

Like most technologies, robots became more widespread when they improved as a technology, and when they dropped in price.

The introduction of the robots-as-a-service model has allowed enterprises to supplement their operations when they need help, or try adding robots without having to make a major capital investment.

“Pretty soon, [robotics and automation are] going to be table stakes for operations within supply chain.”

Jeff Christensen, Vice President of Product at Seegrid

The progression of artificial intelligence has also helped, said Christensen. The sheer amount of data being collected changes what’s possible. What people can do on any computing device today is vastly different than 10 or 20 years ago.

Better robots, better sensors and AI “have hit the maturity threshold at the right time, at the time the market demands what it needs to do,” Christensen said. “That doesn’t always happen. Lots of time there is technology that comes to maturity in a vacuum or in a lab with no real key demand for it.”

Related: Regulatory Shift for Machine Learning in Software as a Medical Device (SaMD)

A pandemic push

Right now, there is demand: increased e-commerce business, labor shortages, truck driver shortages and instability in the supply chain has robots stepping up to the plate, especially when it comes to building resiliency.

In the 2021 MHI Annual Industry Report, 53% of the more than 1,000 supply chain professionals surveyed said they were increasing or substantially increasing their investment in robotics and automation to make the supply chain more resilient. The study also found that 38% have robotics and automation in use today and an additional 38% predict it will be in use within five years.

How businesses plan to step up robotics investments

The need for efficiency and error reduction is pushing robotics and automation in manufacturing, too, especially for companies working on the COVID-19 response.

The pandemic has put a “particular strain” on diagnostics companies, Samantha Betancourt, vice president of supply chain and external operations at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, said via email.

“We are seeing our volumes increase at the same time we may have to limit the number of people in a facility. That made us realize we need to find more creative ways to ensure we could continue to move our products even when [we’re] limited by the ability to physically touch the products,” Betancourt wrote.

She said assigning tasks to robots also allows their team members “to be thought leaders,” which is critical right now. “Employees can focus on strategic work and leave repetitive activities, whether in a spreadsheet or in a warehouse, to robotics.”

Related: Automotive Engineering and Management Methods for Modern Vehicle Development – Implementing Functional Safety for Autonomous Driving

Overcoming hurdles to adoption

While robots are becoming more common, they’re still new and “with anything new, there needs to be time to build trust,” wrote Betancourt.

“Until team members are used to working alongside robots and can truly trust their work product, oversight adds additional tasks,” she said.

Not every company has the money to make a capital investment right now, either. That, plus concerns about maintenance and upkeep costs, are keeping companies on the sidelines, said Bill Ferrell, supply chain professor and associate dean of the Graduate School at Clemson University.

Seeing successful applications in other enterprises will help, Ferrell added. He pointed to autonomous forklifts already being used in warehouses and Walmart’s roll out of autonomous trucks.

“We’re starting to see the beginning of applications and implementation in the real world,” he said. “It’s not to scale yet but it’s not that far in the future.”

2022 Automotive Predictions 

In many ways, 2021 was a continuation of the changes brought about in 2020, a year that’s been described as “unprecedented” and “unparalleled.” In a unique way, 2021 has offered us an idea of evolving innovations and technology on the horizon for teams across industries. These changing conditions will present a variety of new landscapes and will offer unique challenges, opportunities, and more than likely, many surprises.  

As we enter a new year of further changes, Jama Software asked select thought leaders – both internal and external – across various industries for the trends and events they foresee unfolding over the next year and beyond. 

In the third part of our five-part series, we ask Adrian Rolufs, Director of Solutions Architecture from Jama Software, to weigh in on product and systems development trends he’s anticipating for automotive development in 2022.  

Read our other 2022 Industry Predictions here: Part One – Engineering Predictions, Part Two – Medical Device Predictions, Part Four – Aerospace & Defense Predictions, and Part Five – Insurance Development Market Predictions.

Q: What product, systems, and software development trends are you expecting to take shape in 2022? 

Adrian Rolufs, Jama Software:  

2022 will continue much like 2021. Many established automotive companies are in the process of modernizing their development processes and tool chains.  These companies are looking to adopt Agile principles to allow them to execute faster and adopt modern tools that better support their new process. Many of the startups established in the last couple of years are maturing and discovering a need to add more robust processes to ensure that as they bring products to market, they maintain compliance with the safety and quality standards in automotive. 

Due to the global chip shortages in 2021 that had a huge impact on automotive OEMs, we’ll continue to see a focus on ensuring that there is a sufficient supply of automotive grade chips. 

Q: In terms of product and systems development, what do you think will remain the same over the next decade? What will change? 

Adrian Rolufs, Jama Software:  

Over the next decade, I expect that automotive systems development will continue to place an emphasis on software defined features. OEMs will continue to heavily invest in their software development capabilities and an ongoing focus will be placed on quickly delivering new software features while maintaining quality. 

A major change that I see coming is a wider adoption of vehicle variation through software differences rather than hardware differences. Tesla has already led with this approach, but I expect to see more manufacturers ship vehicles with a minimum variety of hardware, and options provided through software configuration instead. 

RELATED READING: Safety As A Competitive Advantage

Q: How do you foresee regulations shifting in Automotive Product and Systems Development over the next decade?  

Adrian Rolufs, Jama Software:  

The current big shifts will continue over the next few years. An increased focus on cybersecurity is already happening and will be a major factor for automotive companies to adapt to over the next few years. With over-the-air updates quickly becoming a mainstream feature of new vehicles, a huge focus must be placed on ensuring safety and regulatory compliance as updates are rolled out.   

Autonomy is an area where new standards have been recently developed, like UL 4600. I expect to see significantly more regulations around autonomy in the next decade to create a framework for bringing fully autonomous vehicles to market. 

Q: Any major disruptions to Automotive Product and Systems Development industry you’re anticipating in 2022? 

Adrian Rolufs, Jama Software: 

New electric vehicle manufacturers like Rivian and Lucid are starting initial production now and are planning to ramp up production in 2022. If they are successful, this will put additional pressure on established OEMs to execute on their own electric vehicle programs even faster than they already are. This will likely have a cascading effect felt across the industry. 

RELATED POST: Automotive Engineering and Management Methods for Modern Vehicle Development

Q: What sorts of process adjustments do you think development teams will need to make to be successful in 2022? 

Adrian Rolufs, Jama Software:  

With the new focus on allowing for remote work, the traditional dependency on tribal knowledge and the heroic efforts of individuals will not be enough for companies to be successful.  Product development knowledge has to be captured in systems and kept up to date so that remote workers can still be productive. This will continue to push for more modern tooling and increased enforcement that is used correctly.  Capturing accurate requirements, establishing traceability, and being able to keep track of it all in a highly iterative fashion will be critical to ensuring success. 

Q: What do you think will be some of the differentiators between a company surviving to see 2030, and those that do not? 

Adrian Rolufs, Jama Software:  

The established companies that survive to see 2030 will be those that adopt modern development practices fast enough to stay competitive and continue to stay relevant in the market. 

For the startups, the biggest challenge is maintaining strong enough financial backing to make it to mass production of their product. Many of the existing startups will be acquired or closed before their products ever make it to the market. Those that succeed will have balanced the needs of fast time to market with robust product development processes that ensure quality. 

Q: Where do you see Jama Software fitting in as the product development landscape evolves, and what can our customers expect as 2022 approaches? 

Adrian Rolufs, Jama Software:  

Jama Software will continue to provide the most useable requirements management, test management, and traceability solution on the market. Jama Software will provide solutions to the companies that are striking a good balance between quality and fast execution.

Thanks for tuning into our 2022 Predictions Series! To see some of the incredible products, software, and systems our customers are building with Jama Connect, visit our customer stories page.  



Apex.AI-Selects-Jama-Connect-to-Increase Efficiency

In this post, we discuss Apex.AI’s selection of Jama Connect to shorten development time and increase efficiency.

Award Winning Automotive Software Developer Selects Jama Connect® to Shorten Development Time, Increase Efficiency, and Sail Through Audit Preparation.

Apex.AI, founded in 2017 in Palo Alto, California, is a mobility software company, and makers of the ISO 26262 ASIL-D safety-certified software framework Apex.OS. As a pioneer in modern C++ software development for safety, they are the first organization to certify a modern C++ open-source product to ASIL-D. Their client list is extensive and prestigious, and they are backed by some of the leading venture capital firms in the world, including Lightspeed Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, Volvo Ventures, and Airbus Ventures.

More about Apex.AI:

  • Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA in the heart of Silicon Valley with offices in Munich, Berlin, and Stuttgart, Germany and with employees worldwide.
  • Founded in 2017 in Palo Alto, CA
  • Expertise: Building robust, reliable, safe, secure, and certified software for mobility systems
  • Recent Awards for Apex.OS, the safety-certified automotive OS:

With a mission to enable automotive developers to implement complex AI software, and enable AI developers to implement safety-critical applications, Apex.AI is an innovator in the automotive industry.

Comprised of alumni from top automotive, robotics, and software companies around the world, the Apex.AI team knew that development success starts with requirements management. That’s why they set out to evaluate the top requirements management solutions from the very beginning. The team had clear objectives and knew that their requirements management solution needed to:

  • Allow the team to create a centralized repository of requirements
  • Help them demonstrate compliance with stringent automotive standards like ISO 26262
  • Enable collaboration across a globally distributed team
  • Be a modern, cloud-based solution that all team members could use
  • Have industry acceptance and expertise

RELATED POST: ROI Calculator – Reclaim Productive Work Time

The team did not take the selection process lightly; they knew there was too much at stake. Apex.AI did an analysis of the full requirements management tools and software market and decided to evaluate Siemens Polarion and YAKINDU more in-depth.

After an in-depth analysis of these requirements management (RM) tools – including interviewing current users of these products – Jama Connect was selected as the solution of choice for the team for the following qualities:

  • End-to-end traceability from requirements all the way through to tests
  • Powerful, flexible solution that all team members can easily use
  • Industry-specific templates and expertise in automotive development
  • An easier path to compliance

“Why would an innovative automotive company consider Jama Connect? From my perspective, Jama Connect is the best of breed requirements analysis and requirements engineering tool… I would highly recommend it and I would use it again without any hesitation on any subsequent project. ”

Neil Langmead – Senior Functional Safety Engineer, Apex.AI

Jama Connect was also the only solution that had Living Requirements™ management, which allows teams to move away from static requirements trapped in disparate documents and creates a digital thread through upstream and downstream activities.

RELATED POST: Requirements Management – Living NOT Static

“Jama Connect doesn’t require much in the way of support and overhead. Once we installed the cloud-based solution it ‘just works’ – and that’s the highest validation for any complex piece of software.”

Neil Langmead – Senior Functional Safety Engineer, Apex.AI

To learn more about Apex.AI’s outcome and future with Jama Connect, read the full story here.

Modern Requirements Management

Founded in 2017 in Los Angeles, California, Auto Motive Power (AMP) has been dedicated to the evolution of e-mobility. With innovative, industry-leading software and hardware, AMP is the world leader in connected battery management, charging, and cloud technology that empowers electric mobility.

The market for electric vehicles is growing at an exponential rate — and not just cars — scooters, airplanes, drones, helicopter markets are all moving toward electrification. As this demand increases, companies like Auto Motive Power (AMP) are tasked with designing, building and monitoring batteries and charging solutions that can withstand this transition away from fossil fuels.

Batteries aren’t cheap, either. It’s estimated that a battery in an electric vehicle can cost as much as 30-40% of the total cost. And given this great expense, companies like AMP are being challenged to find a way to bring down the cost — and AMP is leading the charge.

As an innovator and leader in the battery management industry, AMP is refusing to work within the confines of traditional approaches and instead designing for the needs of today and tomorrow.

After Initially Selecting Intland Codebeamer, AMP Reevaluates and Moves to Jama Connect

As part of their innovative approach to developing vehicle subcomponents, the AMP team began the search for a modern requirements management solution that could help them address the following challenges and objectives:

  • Getting users up and running quickly to support their pace of growth
  • Managing unique requirement IDs across multiple projects
  • Maintaining traceability as things change
  • Enforcing efficient processes and workflows in development

Initially, as a new startup, the AMP team was using Atlassian Confluence and Microsoft Word for requirements management. But as the team grew and their processes matured, it became clear that in order to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation, the team needed to move away from static requirements trapped in disparate documents and move towards a modern requirements management platform that enables Living Requirements™ which create a common thread through all downstream activity

“It’s so important to implement a proper requirements management process and solution as part of the DNA of a startup,” said Jana Fernando, Vice President of Technology at AMP. “Making great products starts with having good product definition – and requirements are a prerequisite to that. Having a good RM solution and process means that all stakeholders agree from the very beginning.”

After briefly evaluating IBM DOORS and Siemens Polarion, the team focused on Intland codebeamber for their application lifecycle management (ALM) tool. After just a short 2-3 weeks, the team realized it was, in fact, not the right tool for them and so continued in their search for a requirements management solution that would better meet their needs.

“It’s so important to implement a proper requirements management process and solution as part of the DNA of a startup… Making great products starts with having good product definition—and requirements are a prerequisite to that. Having a good RM solution and process means that all stakeholders agree from the very beginning.” – Jana F, VP of Technology, AMP 

Why Jama Connect Was Chosen Over Other RM Tools

After the trials and limitations experienced with other solutions, AMP’s search for the right modern requirements management platform led the team to select Jama Connect for the following qualities:

  • Proven performance and industry credibility
  • Powerful yet easy-to-use platform
  • Quick implementation
  • Premium customer support and industry-specific knowledge

To see how the team is now leveraging Jama Connect and the great results they’ve already seen, read the full customer story here.

Automotive EngineeringWhile industry regulations provide some guidance when it comes to requirements management, every organization has to develop their own processes that match the product they are developing. An automotive engineering team’s requirements management process and the tools they use must also meet the everyday needs of engineers working on the product in order to support them, rather than hinder them.

In our recent webinar, automotive experts Adrian Rolufs (Automotive Solutions Lead at Jama Software) and Fabian Koark (CEO  at INVENSITY) shared best practices for establishing cutting edge requirements engineering for the automotive industry. This webinar enables you to improve your requirements management and engineering process, no matter which regulations you follow or software you use.

Watch the recording – or read part of the below transcript – of this webinar to learn how to:

– Measure the performance of your existing requirements management and engineering activities
– Find the right requirements management strategy for your organization
– Analyze the needs and use-cases of the different engineering roles
– Define and establish the right engineering layers and links to promote fast decomposition and transparent traceability

Fabian Koark: I think we can talk about high complex environments and systems and processes, but in the end, it comes down to a very simple process. And what I see today, and we’ve seen in the past that we as engineering leaders often underestimate the first two steps. The considerably simple tasks of reading and understanding a requirement. And I think these first two steps are still very important. And we have to make sure that we give our engineers the right time, the right tool to do these things. And when I say understanding, I really mean achieve a level of comprehension. That also means in a lot of different areas that we might disagree, we might know better, and we need to develop a space where engineers can exchange their disagreement because for everybody who has been in product development a long time, disagreement is a fantastic source for innovation. And therefore, if we agree or disagree on requirement, we can move the project really forward.

And also, I don’t believe with the existing budget restrictions that we see in this project. We can fulfill a certain requirement. It also means we might need to give the engineering team the power to reject something. And in whatever the outcome of this step of understanding comprehension is, it moves the project further. No matter if we reject something and then initiate an escalation and then discussion about a specific requirement, maybe initiate a renegotiation of an engineering budget. This all is a very productive activity, and we should not underestimate that.

And then moving forward in the other steps and also understanding that comprehension of a requirement is not the same as analyzing the impact of the requirement. Especially we will come back to this a little bit later, but we really have to understand how difficult or complex is this requirement? How challenging will it be for us to implement it and to achieve the performance targets that certain requirement brings with it? And in the case of especially in an automotive system, we have multiple levels of requirements and system design from a feature level subsystems to a component part level. So, there are very different teams involved and different supplier levels involved. We need to make a good job in the decomposition and provide an environment and a good process that can support that.

And then this process will not stop. In the end, we build and implement the product and we verify the implementation and then we learn something. We learn in testing and in other verification techniques such as design verification or inspections of a design that our requirement was too loose or our requirements was too strict or we missed something completely, and then we have to start the cycle again with this feedback. And as we see here, it can be a very dependent, be a very fast cycle or can be very slow cycle. It just depends how much agility we want to give our organization.

But requirements engineering and management does not look the same for every role in a product development team. It will be depending on the domain when a mechanical engineer or software engineer, or systems engineer, or the project manager, or the validation and test engineer, I have very different needs. As a project manager, I want to plan things and I always want to track an overview. So, the requirements management part is more interesting for me. I want to get KPIs of this. How much traceability do we have today? How much do we already have analyzed? Are we falling behind? Do we have a bottleneck on writing requirements or do we have a bottleneck of analyzing requirements? I want to know the bottlenecks because if I know the bottlenecks as a project manager, I can allocate more resources.

As a mechanical engineer, I’m not so interested in too many functional and software requirement, but I’m very interested in all the environmental conditions my system has to survive. And what are the right requirements that are allocated to my bearings, to my SEOs, to my housing? These are things that are really relevant. I don’t want to be overwhelmed by 10,000 software requirements, and I have to find the needle in the haystack for the requirements that are really relevant for me. So, I really filter function and focusing on location is super important for me maybe as a mechanical engineer.

As a software engineer, I would like to have requirements but at the same time, I live in a very Agile environment. I work from sprint to sprint, and I have scrum meetings in between and I pick up new requirements every week. So, I need a good integration of my requirements in my backlogs so that the one thing cannot be disconnected to the other thing. And as a validation engineer, I enjoy the most to be on the road and to test my features and my performance in the AutomotiveSPICE in a vehicle. And sometimes with WiFi, sometimes without. So, I need to have my test specification by hand, no matter if a complex IT system is working or a service available or not. So, I want in the end also be able to work through my test specifications also type of requirement on a clipboard. And the requirements manager sits in between and needs to organize that all these different opinions and requests are fulfilled. So, we already see that can be kind of challenging, but I believe it starts with awareness of what the different roles in the engineering project need.

RELATED: ASPICE 101: What is Automotive SPICE?

One thing we need to give ourselves some transparency is a structure. A structure of what kind of levels and what kind of types of artifacts of specification and requirements do we want to establish in our program and that need to look different in every organization. Entirely depending on the industry. It’s depending on not just the industry and not just the tier one, tier two, tier three supplier level, but it’s also depending what type of product I provide. Is it safety-critical? Is it cybersecurity critical? Has it a lot of feature or has it a lot of mechanical interface? And that will determine what are the levels of design that really need and here the key is, the leaner the better, but leaner does not always mean to skip certain steps. I will come back to that a little bit later. I always suggest to separate specification from requirement. Incoming requirements on every level are the things that are requested from the other team or the outside organization. And specification gives me as an engineer the chance to specify how I will fulfill these requirements before I implement that and it gives me a lot of power, the negotiation power, and protects my back.

And I always suggest to not see requirements as an independent thing or specification. It’s highly connected to architectures. It’s highly connected to concepts. It’s also connected to design verification analysis topics like an FMEA, like a fault tree analysis, like a software criticality analysis, no matter on what kind of level. And I need to make sure that I keep this sometimes called engineering entity model together and relationship model together. I need something like that.

Watch our full webinar here: Achieving Automotive Engineering Success Without Requirements Management Frustration.

ISO 26262 vs. ASPICEIf you haven’t already, check out Part I of our ASPICE 101 blog series to learn about what the standard is and why it’s important to automotive development. In this post, we take a look at ISO 26262 vs. ASPICE and examine the similarities and differences between these two important automotive standards.

ISO 26262 vs. ASPICE for Automotive Compliance

Of course, automotive companies already use ISO 26262, and introducing yet another automotive compliance piece into a very full process may feel overwhelming. It’s understandable why companies would be asking if they need to adhere to both ASPICE and ISO 26262 when they are already focused on ISO 26262 compliance.

The answer, in short, is that while there is no regulatory requirement to use ASPICE, using the model can greatly benefit companies that want to stay competitive in the automotive industry. According to the Project Management Institute, 47% of project failures can be traced back to poor requirements; any guidance or set of standards that can help mitigate that risk is worth the implementation effort.

While ASPICE and ISO 26262 are complementary and do overlap in places, they ultimately serve different purposes. ISO 26262 covers functional safety standards for vehicles. It incorporates safety analysis methods that account for random and systematic errors in electrical and electronic systems and is broadly adopted worldwide. ASPICE is the current standard for software best practices in the automotive industry. It covers how to conduct software and systems design whether or not safety is a concern.

The best approach for automotive development teams is to consider both ASPICE and ISO 26262 guidelines.

ISO 26262 vs. ASPICE: Similarities and Differences

There are several key distinctions between ASPICE and ISO 26262:

ISO 26262 vs. ASPICE

Stay tuned for our next post in the ASPICE 101 blog series where we discuss goals, requirements, and levels of ASPICE compliance. 

Functional Safety for Autonomous Driving

This post on functional safety for autonomous driving is Part III in our three-part series with automotive expert Patrick Freytag. If you haven’t already, please go back and read Part I, which talks about how the automotive sector is changing – and Part II, which discusses ways to address functional safety.

Since functional safety has a product lifecycle approach, it has a wide impact on all processes in a company. As a newcomer to functional safety, it’s challenging to focus on the most important aspects, especially for new entrants in the knowledge-intensive automotive sector. Here are best practices based on my observations and experience.

Functional Safety for Autonomous Driving – Best Practices for New Market Entrants 

Executive Management Team: Pay Attention to Functional Safety 

Product safety should be at topic of conversation for the Executive Management Team (EMT) because of the legal responsibilities placed upon the company by deploying a vehicle to customers. The EMT should understand that it needs dedicated resources to achieve product safety. One of the most important tasks of the EMT is to implement a Safety Engineering Management and to assure that roles and responsibilities for quality and safety are defined and communicated in the company. Members of the safety team need a specific skill set, so it is important to invest in functional safety education and qualification. It is important to foster a quality and safety culture in the company. For that reason, quality and safety should be part of goal agreement and performance evaluation. Quality and safety have to be recognized as a core responsibility and a performance indicator for employees.  

Project Management: Plan and Track Functional Safety 

Project management has to incorporate functional safety in the product concept and development plan. The Project Manager (PM) should consider the additional time and cost in the project plan and the project budget. Product development plans must include quality and safety milestones and the related work products. What should be done if the PM doesn’t receive proof that quality and safety milestones are reached at the gate reviews, for example? Well, that’s for sure a red flag. Situations like these may point to deeper rooted issues, and should not be brushed under the rug. The PM should start a GAP analysis and request an action plan. I recommend escalating the issue to the executive team ASAP in case there is missing proof of product safety. It won’t get better without commitment and planned actions, the longer you wait the worse the situation will get. Since safety considerations most typically permeate several layers of system design, it is not an attribute that can be tagged on shortly before the start of production, it has to be implemented from the beginning. 

Development & Functional Safety Team: Implement and Validate Functional Safety 

Industry experience shows that functional safety is not a topic you can assign to one responsible person. For example, a technical safety concept is created by a team of software, hardware, and system-level experts and moderated by a systems architect in collaboration with functional safety engineers. This means that the functional safety manager is a role that is played a few times in a company, while the role of a safety engineer can be assigned to even an entire team. As mentioned, functional safety requires specific domain knowledge and safety engineering expertise. But what can be done if this expertise is missing in-house? My recommendation is to compensate it with external resources as an interim solution. Start functional safety education and qualification as a long-term solution. Safety must be addressed in product development with adequate engineering methods and domain knowledge to define safety requirements. These safety requirements have to be implemented, tracked, managed, verified, and validated to make sure that risk reduction is realized, and the product is safe.  

The Evolution of Functional Safety for Autonomous Driving 

The functional safety focus is on avoiding and mitigating failures in E/E systems. That also works well for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). When a failure is detected, the driver gets alerted, and mitigation measures are performed to reach a safe state. These systems are called fail-safe. Let’s take Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) as an example. When a failure is detected, a warning will be displayed in the Instrument Cluster. This visual warning is typically combined with an acoustical warning to get the attention of the driver. The ACC function will be switched off, and the driver is in charge to control the vehicle’s speed and keep a safe distance again.  

Additional Safety Considerations for Autonomous Driving 

The ADAS safety mechanism described above will not be sufficient for a fully autonomous vehicle. It’s not possible to switch off the automated driving system because there is no driver in the loop to take over. An Autonomous Vehicle (AV) has to work under all (failure) conditions, it has to be fail-operational. An AV without a driver in the loop also needs situational awareness, understand the surrounding world, decide, and act. This situational awareness is created by data fusion from a variety of complex sensor systems based on lidars, cameras, and radars. The combined data is then interpreted to plan and take action. This interpretation and planning are achieved by complex algorithms, driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).  

Today, many connected and ADAS-equipped cars are already available. Connectivity features and information sharing are increasingly used for updating vehicle features, maintenance-related diagnostics, and traffic services. This development will also increase the attractiveness of an attack on vehicles by hackers with different motivations and it introduces additional risks for vehicle cybersecurity.  

Safety Concerns Due to System Limitations and Misuse 

What happens if an automated driving system has no system failure but doesn’t work as intended? Unsafe behavior could be triggered by limitations in the sensor systems, extreme conditions, or unforeseen situations. In addition, misuse could confuse the AI algorithms and result in unsafe behavior too.  

An example of misuse of an ADAS was showed by Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports reported in April 2021 that it was able to trick a Tesla into driving in autopilot mode with no one at the wheel. Real-life proof followed in May – Police arrested Tesla driver for operating his car from the back seat while traveling on a San Francisco Bay Area freeway. The officer confirmed the sole occupant was in the backseat, so he took action to stop the car and saw the occupant move to the driver’s seat before the car stopped. In response, Tesla activated the cabin camera with a software update to detect and alert driver inattentiveness while autopilot is engaged for Model 3 and Model Y end of May.  

Here a typical example of limitations, an AV is driving and confronted with black ice conditions. While an experienced driver should be able to comprehend the situation and respond properly, an AI-based AV might not. Without sensing the icy road condition, an AV might drive faster than is safe for the condition. 

As a result, there has to be an addition to functional safety considering safety violations that occur in absence of a system failure. 

RELATED: Watch a demonstration of the Jama Connect for Automotive Solution

Safety of Intended Functionality or SOTIF (ISO/PAS 21448) 

The publicly available specification ISO/PAS 21448, titled “Road vehicles — Safety of the intended functionality” was published in 2019. SOTIF is defined in the standard as: “The absence of unreasonable risk due to hazards resulting from functional insufficiencies of the intended functionality or by reasonably foreseeable misuse by persons.” The goal of SOTIF is to avoid situations where vehicles are working as designed, but are failing under real-world scenarios. ISO 21448 provides guidance on the design, verification, and validation measures to achieve the SOTIF. The current version covers Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (SAE J3016 L1 and L2). It can be considered for higher levels of automation; however, additional measures will be necessary. 

 The Standard for the Evaluation of Autonomous Products (ANSI/UL 4600) 

The UL 4600 standard was issued in April 2020 with the scope of the Safety Evaluation of fully Autonomous Driving Systems that operate without human intervention. The goal of UL 4600 is to ensure that a comprehensive safety case is created, including safety goals, argumentation, and evidence. UL 4600 covers the safety principles, risk mitigation, tools, techniques, and life-cycle processes for building and evaluating a safety argument for vehicles that can operate in an autonomous mode without human supervision. Therefore, the ML-based system aspects of the autonomous operation are covered. UL 4600 works well with existing automotive safety standards such as ISO 26262 and ISO/PAS 21448 by building on their strengths while also filling their autonomy-specific gaps.  


The safety challenge for autonomous vehicles can’t be addressed with a single standard as of today. As we move on from existing Advanced Driver Assistance (L1 and L2+) to fully Automated Driving Systems (L5) the standards and methods will evolve too.  

Current state-of-the-art automotive safety is achieved with a combination of different engineering methods and processes: 

Functional Safety (ISO 26262)

Guards the E/E malfunction behavior due to systematic and random hardware failures for vehicles with a human driver present responsible for safe operation

Safety of the Intended Functionality (ISO/PAS 21448) 

Deals with the functional limitation regarding the absence of unreasonable risk due to hazards resulting from functional insufficiency of the intended functionality or reasonably foreseeable misuse by persons. SOTIF covers L1 & L2 ADAS vehicles with a human driver present responsible for safe operation. 

Cybersecurity engineering (ISO/SAE 21434)  

Protects road vehicle systems and components from harmful attacks, unauthorized access, damage, or anything else that could interfere and compromise safety functions 

Evaluation of Autonomous Products (ANSI/UL4600) 

Proofs the safety of fully autonomous road vehicles that can operate without human supervision  

Take Away: The combination of different engineering methods is needed on the way to fully Autonomous Driving  

  • Functional Safety helps you to do things right 
  • Safety of Intended Functionality helps you to do the right things 
  • Cybersecurity helps to protect the safety functions from being compromised 
  • Evaluation of Autonomous Products helps you to provide proof that you did enough safety engineering work to achieve a safe autonomous product

This blog post concludes the 3-blog miniseries on automotive insights and best practices on the way to autonomous driving. Special thanks to Jama Software for the opportunity to share my observations and experience with you. I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts and got useful insights into the complex and interesting world of automotive safety and autonomous driving.  

Automotive Industry

With over 100 years of history, cars may be considered ‘legacy technology.’ They are everywhere, so everyone in the automotive industry should know how to develop them…right?

History and Future of the Automotive Industry

Cars have come a long way in the last 100 years. The first patented gas-fueled motor wagon of Carl Benz dates back to 1886. Electric Vehicles (EVs) date even earlier back to the 1830s. Although EVs disappeared between 1935 and 1960, they are back today while the internal combustion engine (ICE) will likely vanish in the future. There are obvious signs that the best times for ICE cars are over. Governments all over the world are paying subsidies for alternative energy vehicles and setting more restrictive greenhouse gas targets for the future. In Europe and Asia, cities are already restricting access to ICE vehicles. As a result, companies like GM, Ford, and VW are going all-in on electric now to assure their future growth.

Customer expectations are also shifting. Next-generation customers are expecting, for example, a connected, smartphone-like user experience. A McKinsey study shows that 36 percent of customers would willingly change brands for better digital and connected services. Another important point to mention is that flexible ownership and mobility services will likely replace traditional car ownership. For example, Tesla has a master plan to dominate the (automotive) world with robotaxis, and an army of startups are raising money to join the battle for future mobility. The rise of the mobility industry with buzzing Mobility as a Service (MaaS) might even make cars a commodity in the future.

New Revenue Models, New Technologies, and New Entrants

Automotive is a capital-intensive and small-margin business. What does capital-intense mean in this case? You need $1 billion to develop a car and another $1 billion to manufacture a car. So, the market is tough as a consequence. Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently tweeted: “Tesla & Ford are the only American carmakers not to have gone bankrupt out of 1000s of car startups. Prototypes are easy, production is hard & being cash flow positive is excruciating.”

 No wonder the industry is aiming for a continuous revenue stream rather than a one-time sale. It’s apparent that technology is an enabler for new services and creates additional revenue sources in the industry. Connected car services, features on-demand, and upcoming automated driving subscriptions are examples of additional revenue sources.

Today’s most influential automotive technology is the electrification of the powertrain. It’s changing the industry because an electric powertrain is less complex than a combustion engine powertrain with all the moving parts and a catalytic converter system. Now EV entrants don’t have to catch up with 100 years of ICE development and have the advantage of a less complex and low-maintenance electric powertrain. This provides new EV entrants a lower barrier to enter the industry.

RELATED POST: The Importance of ISO 26262 in Automotive Development 

Today’s Automotive Industry Challenges

Most automotive industry players face distinct challenges caused by the ongoing changes. Here are the major challenges and struggles that key players experience in product development today.

Legacy OEMs

The development process in the automotive industry is still hardware-driven, resulting in a two- to six-year development cycle. To increase profitability and achieve a competitive advantage, OEMs are speeding up the development cycle. Because of the increasing number of features defined by software, this hardware-driven development process reaches its limitations. Shifting to an Agile development process with a shorter cycle is challenging for most OEMs because it needs a properly tailored Agile process for automotive. Another point to mention, there is often a disconnect between engineering, marketing, and customer expectations, or even resistance within the management to introduce features customers are looking for. As a consequence, legacy OEMs are struggling to switch to a more user-centric approach and prioritize features customer value.

Tiered Technology Supplier

In the past, OEMs wrote specifications for E/E systems and Electric Control Units (ECUs). At the next step, tiered suppliers developed the ECUs and verified them against the specifications. In the last step, the OEMs integrated ECUs from different suppliers and validated the system. That’s about 30-70 ECUs for a modern car, and it is quite a challenge. Today the cooperation model is changing, OEMs are challenging their suppliers to step up as technology partners. OEMs are now expecting system and technology co-development with partners to get a leaner process and save costs. As a consequence, suppliers are struggling to grow from a components supplier to technology partners and the related tackle for technology lead.

New Automotive Industry Entrants

New entrants in the industry join a capital-intensive and knowledge-intensive industry as described before. Besides, new entrants often develop E/E systems, domain controllers, and software in-house to differentiate their offering. This has its advantages, but one big disadvantage is the missing automotive engineering review by an external partner. Even if the executive management is aware of this challenge, they often have a hard time finding automotive experienced managers and developers for the required knowledge transfer. As a consequence, new entrants often struggle with implementing the quality and safety standards in the industry and the proper execution of the related automotive engineering methods.

Take Away

The automotive industry has changed a lot in the last few years, and this transformation is speeding up even faster today. Key drivers are changing regulations, new technologies, new revenue models, and new industry entrants. Connected vehicles, autonomous driving, the electrification of the power train, and shared mobility are mutually reinforcing developments in the automotive industry. Combined, these developments are changing the industry – some even call it the perfect storm to disrupt the industry.

To sum it up, the future of the automotive industry looks bright. Nevertheless, technology like autonomous driving, will bring new challenges like increased product complexity and safety concerns. It would be wise for all participants to use proper automotive engineering methods and tools.

To see more information specific to the automotive industry, we’ve compiled a handy list of valuable resources for you!

autonomous vehicles

Editor’s Note: This post about how autonomous vehicles was originally published here on EngineerLive.com on October 6th, 2020, and was written by Jeremy Johnson, Jama Software’s Vice President of Product Management.  

Never before have so many automotive engineers been tasked with bringing increasingly complex machines to market as they have with autonomous vehicles (AVs). Not to mention, it’s not simply a game of speed – elevating only the companies which manufacture products quickly – but a matter of those organizations taking these steps, while pushing the envelope on innovation and prioritizing consumer safety.

While important advancements are being made daily to bring fully autonomous vehicles into commercial availability, we are still a ways off from seeing the Level 5 autonomy we hope for. We’ve witnessed this in the significant challenges and shortcomings reported in the news in recent years, even amongst some of the biggest names in autonomous vehicle production. There are, however, a few actions engineers can take to stay nimble, innovative, and reduce the number of safety-critical mistakes throughout the development process.

Focus on your core business: advancing technology

This is particularly important for start-ups or companies looking to apply their technology to the automotive space for the first time. If you’ve heard the saying “don’t reinvent the wheel,” it comes into play when considering what processes and procedures for meeting industry best practices must be in place. Seek a consulting or technology partner that can enable your business to continuously practice requirements, risk, and test management in alignment with market standards such as ISO 26262 and ISO/PAS 21448. By starting with a proven framework that can be applied and moulded to a particular business, engineers can focus their innovation and organizational energy on delivering new technology to customers.

This focus is noticed in how Tesla drives its business, where the organization leans more heavily into internal development to drive technology advancement and differentiation in the marketplace. Audi, which attempted to meet Level 3 autonomy with its 2019 A8, sought outside suppliers such as Aptiv, Intel, Infineon and NVIDIA– a different approach to Tesla. Although Audi ultimately pulled back stating the car was too far into the lifecycle, it was realized through properly executed business and safety procedures.

Support collaboration internally and externally

Rapid innovation requires tight collaboration, often occurring across various hardware and software teams, and increasingly with partners or traditional competitors. Whether a formal joint venture or targeted collaboration around specific technology development, this “co-competition” has become more common as companies look to drive innovation in AVs forward.

Ensuring the tools and processes to enable this collaboration are in place, and capturing the critical output that comes with it, will guarantee that R&D efforts move quickly while maintaining strong focus on verification and validation. It’s especially important engineering teams get out of their silos and work with adversaries on this front, because in the U.S. in particular, there’s no mandatory compliance enforced by the government to follow standards such as ISO 26262 or SOTIF.

There have been promising signs of collaboration by some automotive companies to exchange learned information during AV development. One example is the collaboration among Aptiv, Audi, Baidu, BMW, Continental, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Here, Infineon, Intel, and Volkswagen to develop a whitepaper, “Safety First for Automated Driving,” describing a potential framework for the development, testing, and validation of safe AVs.

RELATED: Watch a demonstration of the Jama Connect for Automotive Solution

Maintain traceability of requirements, tests, and risks

Developing complex, safety-critical systems that marry software and hardware requires a great deal of rigor and planning. Keeping track of each step of the development process with cumbersome documents and spreadsheets greatly hinders engineers’ ability to remain agile. By ensuring all of these steps are tightly managed, integrated into other product lifecycle phases and available for flexible reporting will enable organizations to innovate quickly. This also allows for prioritization of safety and compliance and the ability to rapidly adapt as the regulatory landscape continues to evolve..

Most countries do not yet have specific regulations that govern autonomous vehicles, leading to uncertainty around requirements, reporting, and future regulatory compliance.  As previously mentioned, in the U.S. there is also an absence of tightly defined regulations which means states could implement differing standards that require specific nuances in technology and regulatory compliance. There’s also basic differences in infrastructure that makes development and safety a challenge – such as variability in road surfaces, lane markings, and signage.

The key for teams in this fluid environment is to remain close to standard development and regulatory agencies, as well as supply chain partners, to define and influence these regulations. And they must be prepared to show traceability of requirements, risk, and testing information in multiple formats to support the various potential points of oversight – be it downstream customers or regulatory auditors.

Ultimately, we’re likely a decade or more away from commercial availability of a Level 5 autonomous vehicle. As we inch closer, it’s vital engineering teams take advantage of the modern systems management tools at their disposal in order to get it right now – before it’s too late.

To see more information related to the automotive development industry, we’ve compiled a handy list of valuable resources for you!


Automotive Product and Systems Development

2020 has been a year that’s been described as “unprecedented” and “unparalleled” – as well as other descriptors probably best left out of our blog. As we close out this year, it’s hard to say what awaits us in the new one. One thing that we can be sure of is that innovation in medicine, science, and technology shows no sign of slowing down.

As we enter a new year of technological advancements, Jama Software asked select thought leaders – both internal and external – across various industries for the trends and events they foresee unfolding over the next year and beyond.

In Part III of our four-part series, we asked Adrian Rolufs, Director of Solutions Architecture at Jama Software, to weigh in on trends he sees in automotive development for 2021. You can also go back and read Part I and Part II and Part IV of our 2021 predictions series, which focus on predictions for medical device development and airborne systems development (respectively).

Note: Now that our 2021 Predictions Series is complete, you can also go back and read Part IPart II, and Part IV.

What product, systems, and software development trends are you expecting to take shape in 2021? 
Adrian Rolufs:

I expect to see a continuation of the existing trend of more and more companies taking functional safety seriously. Fewer companies will be trying to do the bare minimum for safety and instead will be focused on establishing the robust engineering methods that are encouraged or required for functional safety.

In terms of product and systems development, what do you think will remain the same over the next decade? What will change? 
Adrian Rolufs:

I expect to see an increase in focus on systems engineering. Today many components are still developed by electrical engineering and software engineering teams working in loose coordination. Increasing complexity is going to force an increasing reliance on systems engineering to coordinate between the traditional disciplines and architect optimized solutions.

How do you foresee regulations shifting in automotive development over the next decade?
Adrian Rolufs:

I expect to see more and more government imposed regulation similar to the medical device and airborne systems industries. So far, government regulations for automotive development have been largely focused on physical properties of the final vehicle. I expect to see this move into requiring more rigorous documentation around design processes. We are already starting to see some activity by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in this regard.

Any major disruptions to automotive industry you’re anticipating in 2021? 
Adrian Rolufs:

I expect that 2021 will continue to decide winners and losers among the elective vehicle and autonomous vehicle startups. Some of the players are inevitably not going to survive. I believe that the companies who are able to show compelling enough products to move past frantically trying to build a working prototype into establishing robust engineering machines will be the companies to survive in 2021.

What sorts of process adjustments do you think development teams will need to make to be successful in 2021? 
Adrian Rolufs:

Established automotive development teams are going to have to rethink how they work to become more Agile and innovative. The startups are poised to become very disruptive in 2021 and traditional automotive organizations will not survive if they aren’t able to adapt. Traditional automotive OEMs are very good at heavily reusing components they have and slowly evolving their vehicle designs. That won’t be good enough for the 2020s. I envision some repeats of how Nokia went from being the untouchable and dominant cell phone manufacturer in the 2000s to virtually nonexistent in the 2010s.

RELATED: Watch a demonstration of the Jama Connect for Automotive Solution

What do you think will be some of the differentiators between a company surviving to see 2030, and those that do not? 
Adrian Rolufs:

Companies that survive to 2030 will find the right balance between innovative new technology like AV, EV, and connected cars and robust engineering methodologies that allow the development of reliable, safe, and high quality automobiles.

Where do you see Jama Software fitting in as the product development landscape evolves, and what can our customers expect as 2021 approaches? 
Adrian Rolufs:

As all automotive companies strike the balance between developing innovative products and following robust engineering methods, many engineers who have never before been engaged in requirements engineering will have to learn how. Those engineers want a tool that is modern, easy to use, and powerful enough to meet the requirements of ISO 26262, Automotive SPICE, and future regulations that don’t exist yet. Jama Connect is the best solution for getting those engineers authoring and reviewing requirements in a system that enables traceability.

Stay tuned for the final segment in our 2021 Predictions Series. In the meantime, to see more information specific to the automotive development industry, we’ve compiled a handy list of valuable resources for you!