System-Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA) – Introduction to a new safety approach

Elektrobit’s Lars-Eric Schlereth and Julian Ott outline how a new approach known as ‘System-Theoretic Process Analysis’ can optimise the safety of vehicle systems


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Over the last 30 years the automobile has developed from being purely mechanical to a complex electromechanical system. As a result of this evolution, developers are facing a growing number of challenges when it comes to handling critical system behaviour.

Many road incidents have occurred due to a lack of consideration for the action states of a system, and this shows that it is not enough to consider reliability purely on a component level; the interaction between each individual component must also be considered.

A new approach—System-Theoretic Process Analysis (STPA)—is one of few strategies that takes complex dynamic processes into account at a system-level.

In this 60-minute webinar, Lars-Eric Schlereth, Automotive Consultant at Elektrobit Consulting and Julian Ott, Safety Engineer at Elektrobit, discuss the motivation behind the STPA approach, and provide further detail on its working principles based on an Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) module.