[White Paper] Ten Principles for Building Safe Embedded Software Systems

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Building Safe Embedded Software Systems

[White Paper] Ten Principles for Building Safe Embedded Software Systems

Obtaining safety certifications and pre-market approvals for safety-related systems is arduous, costly, and prone to failure. And yet, such certifications and approvals are integral to the sale and market acceptance of software for a wide range of products. For example, software for a medical device must obtain FDA Class III pre-market approval (IEC 62304), a train control system must meet requirements set out in.

EN 50126 and EN 50657, automotive system components must meet differing ISO 26262 safety integrity levels depending on functionality, and an industrial automation system is required to be IEC 61508 SIL-rated.

Safety of Embedded Software Systems

Further, safe system design continues to evolve as embedded systems become more autonomous, connected, and shared. Autonomous systems pose new challenges for safety engineers. For example, autonomous cars need to be run through a multitude of simulations, thoroughly trained, and demonstrated safe. Then there is the issue of updating software: When connected systems receive updates on the fly, it can interfere with a safety system.

From these and other challenges arise new functional safety concepts, such as the Safety of the Intended Functionality (SOTIF) in ANSI/UL 4600; an awareness of the infeasibility of complete testing due to the long-tail distribution of road hazards as described by Dr. Philip Koopman; and the concept of dynamic safety cases, a through- life safety assurance approach described by NASA.

Safety must be embedded in the practices, processes, and culture of every organization building safety-critical systems. If safety-critical products are to succeed, manufacturers must look beyond strictly technical challenges to embrace the principles for building and certifying safety-critical software systems covered in this white paper. Check out other challenges in designing a fully autonomous system for driverless cars.

Does your organization have a culture built with safety in mind? Without a company-wide safety culture, it is unlikely that a safe software product can be built. That’s just the first step, download the white paper from BlackBerry QNX to learn the other 9 principles.

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