Considerations of Functional Safety, ASPICE, and Cybersecurity

New technologies and an expanded supply chain have increased design and production complexity.

Product design in autonomous and electric vehicles requires a product architecture of systems, subsystems, hardware, and software, as well as requirements management and the “Engineering V.” Electronics, hardware, and software in the product also necessitate new software standards. Automotive SPICE, a software capability standard required by many OEMs, has the voice of the customer translated into system architectural requirements, which flow down to system requirements, then to software architecture, next to software requirements, and finally into unit requirements. As the requirements flow down, customers, suppliers, sub suppliers must work closely together because product development of Functional Safety, SOTIF, Cyber Security, and AIAG-VDA FMEA demands linked development.

Organizations in the automotive industry, and other sectors such as steel, plastics, and semiconductors, have been heavily influenced by automotive industry standards and practices like IATF 16949, advanced product quality planning (APQP), failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), and production parts approval process (PPAP). Excluding the IATF 16949 which is the Automotive Quality Management Systems standard, the others are collectively called “Core Tools” which includes measurement system analysis (MSA) and statistical process control (SPC).

During the last 10 years, a significant number of new technologies have been introduced in automobiles, including autonomous breaking, auto lane change, adaptive cruise control, vision based driver assistance systems, and various sensor-operated driver warning systems. It is expected that soon, more than 50 percent of a new car’s value will be found in its electronics (i.e., semiconductors) and software.

These new technologies also are resulting in multipoint failures and software-related failures in automobiles. Data show that 15 percent to 50 percent of warranty failures are attributable to software defects. In addition, these new technologies also introduce a significant number of vulnerabilities thus enabling hackers to mount attacks and target vehicle assets. Now, more than ever, it is important to recognize the need for improved product development processes in systems, hardware, and software. Until now, the automotive industry has relied almost exclusively on APQP and other Core Tools.

At the same time that these technology and related hardware and software changes are occurring, the automotive industry is shifting from internal combustion engines (ICE) to electric power, and soon, to autonomous vehicles (AV). One can see many different strategies applied around the world. In the United States, for example, Tesla and General Motors are leading the change toward autonomous vehicles. GM is applying its “super cruise” in combustion engines, while Tesla is applying its autopilot to electric vehicles.

The three parallel developments of:

  1. Increased electronics and software in automobiles
  2. Increased software failures
  3. Automobile product shift from ICEs to electric and AVs are requiring new standards and methodologies in automobile vehicle and parts design as well as manufacturing.

Seven standards or methodologies are levers to this shift in automobile design and manufacturing

In this article we will address four of them. The first three are functional safety (ISO 26262); automotive software process improvement and capability determination (SPICE), a maturity model derived from ISO/ IEC 15504; and cybersecurity (SAE J3061 and ISO 21434). The fourth addresses the need for technology to manage newproduct development (i.e., supply chain initiatives) within the automotive industry. Automobile design and manufacturing have lengthened their supply chains from system design to include extensive hardware and software links that extend all over the globe, including the United States, Canada, Europe, Mexico, China, and India.

Jonathan Hunt

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