Safety standards capture state-of-the-art, in snapshot

Megan Lampinen takes a deep dive into ISO 26262 with a member of the international team that helped develop this pivotal standard

Vehicles have been incorporating increasing amounts of electronics content over the past few decades. It really kicked off with the introduction of engine management systems for emissions control in the 1980s, marking the first use of microprocessors and software in vehicle control systems. Every decade since then has witnessed a similar step change in content. In the 1990s it centred around restraint systems, which started to become commonplace in mass market vehicles. In the 2000s it was stability control. In the 2010s it was driver assistance systems like adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning.

Special report: Functional safety in road vehicles (ISO 26262)

This past decade has seen a big push with powertrain electrification as more electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids make their way on to the road. Today, a typical vehicle will have electrical powertrain components, a suite of driver assistance features and connectivity capability. As a result, the electronics systems are becoming more central to how the vehicle operates, and it’s pivotal to get them right.

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