Q. For background, what is your role at MathWorks regarding ISO 26262?
A. As Automotive Marketing Manager for Europe, I lead the effort to foster the adoption of MathWorks products for technical computing and Model-Based Design in the European automotive industry. In this role, I have a strong focus on the messaging around industry relevant standards such as AUTOSAR and ISO 26262.
MathWorks is a developer of mathematical computing software. MATLAB is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation. Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design of multi-domain dynamic and embedded systems. Engineers and scientists worldwide use these product families to accelerate innovation and development in automotive and other industries.
So what does ISO mean for the automotive engineers tasked with developing high-integrity embedded systems that must comply with the standard? Could you please talk about some of the key challenges and topics related to ISO 26262?
Developing high-integrity applications in general are governed by industry standards and guidelines such as ISO 26262. This means that additional requirements on the development process need to be fulfilled. Next to extensive and systematic verification, validation and test, with the appropriate documentation of each process step, the engineers need to demonstrate overall conformance by creating a document that describes how each step in their respective development life cycle fulfills requirements defined by the standard.
Another aspect is that automotive engineers have to create the evidence that the tools they are using for developing these high integrity systems are appropriate for these tasks. To aid this, ISO 26262 defines a comprehensive tool classification and tool qualification process.
Evolving their existing development process to one that is compliant with ISO 26262 and that meets the associated tool qualification requirements for the corresponding software tools is a key challenge for engineers.
What are some strategies for developing high-integrity embedded systems that are ISO-compliant?
ISO 26262 consists of 10 parts that address different aspects of the development process. In working with leading automotive companies, we have found that a best practice is to work systematically through these parts and analyze the impact that each part might have on the existing processes. Essentially, the effort involves performing a gap analysis between the standard’s requirements and existing processes and defining process adoptions that can be rolled out to the projects.
Typically, we see creation of defined groups or teams that have a division or corporate wide responsibility to assess existing processes and introduce adoptions. In addition, these groups perform a systematic tool (chain) qualification in accordance to ISO 26262.
MathWorks supports these activities at different levels. First, we provide code generation, verification, and validation tools including Embedded Coder, Polyspace, and Simulink Verification and Validation that are pre-qualified in collaboration with TÜV SÜD, an independent certification authority in Germany. Providing pre-qualified tools streamlines the user activities to meet the ISO 262626 tool qualification requirements and the development of Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) A–D applications.
In addition to pre-qualified tools, we recently introduced ISO 26262 Process Deployment Advisory Services to assist automotive engineers with establishing ISO 26262 compliant software development processes.
There are typically four steps to go through:
1. Familiarization with existing processes and tools
Review the current embedded software development process and tool chain;
familiarize with the application(s) to be developed and determined Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL).
2. Gap analysis
Perform a gap analysis to identify current challenges and process efficiency improvements for an ISO 26262 process framework using Model-Based Design.
3. Targeted instruction
Provide instruction to fill the specific gaps identified in step 2. Discuss ISO 26262 fundamentals and the TÜV SÜD certified process framework for using Model-Based Design with ISO 26262.
4. Hands-on deployment support
Apply the knowledge gained in step 3 to a specific project and provide assistance in a wide range of areas including modeling, simulation, code generation, verification, validation, tool qualification, and system certification.
MathWorks professional services staff works closely with customers to identify what is needed for ISO 26262 compliance when using Model-Based Design and can provide customized support to fit varying customer needs.