How to Avoid the Most Common Pitfalls with ISO 26262 Compliance

Written by: Hanna Taller

Read Time: 3 min

ISO 26262 is an internationally recognized risk-based safety standard that regulates the functional safety of automotive electrical and electronic systems. It is rapidly becoming the de facto standard for developing safety-related automotive systems. Safety is the number one priority for automotive developers, and compliance with ISO 26262 ensures that. Read on to find out how you can avoid the most common mistake with ISO 26262 compliance! 

The complexity in the development of cars and other vehicles has massively increased and it will continue to increase in future years. However, not only has complexity increased but also the demands regarding safety issues. Today, cars need to have strong assistant systems to gain high NCAP ratings. ISO 26262 is the standard in the automotive industry trying to ensure quality, safety, and risks by providing ways to deal with the complexity and increased demands in the safety area. 

Have a good “foundation” 

If you are having trouble managing complexity, you can help solve the issue by using holistic engineering processes and methods like MBSE. You can manage your complexity by having traceability from top to bottom, eliminating silos, and using company-wide, standardized & integrated processes and methods. Implementing a set of mandatory workflows and artifacts within a tool, which represent company-specific processes that are currently used within the engineering-domain is the goal. This also comes in handy when you want to gain efficiencies and reduce risks, as well as accelerate time-to-market.

Create awareness and skills 

ISO 26262 is not only impacting safety expert domains, but it is also closely linked to the entire product development process, such as requirements management, test management, and configurations management. Attention and training on ISO 26262 compliance are essential to give managers, process and tool owners, and developers. Training on ISO 26262 ensures that your team has a good understanding of the specific needs of various electrical and/or electronic systems. Organizing workshops with cross-functional teams including safety-experts, process owners, tools owners, and developers to get a holistic shared understanding, identify gaps, and create a common roadmap can be a great way to start the process. 

Don't use too many tools 

Over time, development environments often evolve naturally without having an underlying IT-tooling architecture strategy. Therefore, it is likely for companies to have a wide range of tools with overlapping features and incoherent approaches. More tools lead to more interfaces, more redundant data, more manual effort, less transparency and less traceability. To reduce the complexity and the amount of work regarding ISO 26262 and to make life with traceability easier, the number of tools should be reduced to a minimum. A reduction to 10-20 tools is possible. Top-management decision making and a holistic deep-dive understanding seems to be the best way to solve this kind of problem.

Find the right tool 

Companies in the automotive industry are still quite often using legacy tools and are reluctant to implement new tools, align processes, and change habits. Don’t let legacy tools hold back your product development! Evaluate your options and use state-of-the-art tools. It’s important to pick a tool that has the ability to customize workflows and permissions. They also need to be able to create traceability and add information into fields, as well as the option of templating to scale. In case you want to use several tools, they also need to offer the option to implement individual interfaces and fitting processes. Moreover, if used holistically, they provide a single point of truth database that enables the creation of traceability through all levels of the development process. Using the appropriate, scalable, and more flexible tools such as Codebeamer is worth the investment.

ISO 26262 compliance

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Tags: Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) Codebeamer Automotive Regulatory Compliance

About the Author

Hanna Taller

Hanna Taller is a content creator for PTC’s ALM Marketing team. She is responsible for increasing brand awareness and driving thought leadership for Codebeamer. Hanna is passionate about creating insightful content centered around ALM, life sciences, automotive technology, and avionics.