The software-defined car resets functional safety bar

Panasonic Automotive Systems America’s CTO offers a deep dive into its pioneering safety certification approach. By Megan Lampinen

As vehicles add more electrical content and systems grow increasingly complex, new safety challenges are emerging. Many vehicle systems previously separate from safety are now starting to incorporate new functionality in this area. For example, most consumers would not associate audio as a matter of functional safety, but something like the seat belt chime or the door chime helps keep drivers and occupants safe, in many cases alerting them to a potential failure. Further complicating the situation is the move to centralised electrical/electronic (E/E) architectures and mixed criticality.

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

For automotive suppliers, it may be time for a new approach to functional safety certification. “We need to consider that every product we’re building may have a functional safety element to it,” says Andrew Poliak, Chief Technology Officer at Panasonic Automotive Systems America. The supplier, which specialises in infotainment and connectivity solutions, is one of the industry pioneers when it comes to addressing functional safety design challenges in the vehicle cockpit.

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