Connected and increasingly autonomous vehicles offer those of us on the road a
lot of benefits. But as cars become more electronic in nature and more like
rolling computers, the role of safety becomes critical. How will a car respond
when something goes wrong in its electronic system or in a single component?
That’s what a specialized safety discipline called
seeks to anticipate and protect against. This topic is the basis of our most
recent NXP Smarter World Podcast, guest hosted by John Quain, automotive
journalist and technology expert. John is joined by Gareth Price, functional
safety manager at McLaren Applied and Franck Galtié, director automotive
functional safety at NXP Semiconductors.
We all know about safety features like tire pressure monitoring systems and
advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), yet the type of safety that those
in the semiconductor and system design industries undertake is little
understood outside of a relatively small group of experts. These dedicated
specialists help ensure that vehicles follow guidelines established by
organizations such as the International Organization for Standardization and
its ISO 26262 standard. They also help inform an overall safety approach.
As Gareth Price, functional safety manager at McLaren Applied recently shared
in the recent podcast, “For me, it’s really about risk.
It’s about quantifying the risk involved in the deployment of these new
features that you mentioned. Basically, functional safety is a business of
producing these automotive components or products that are free from
unreasonable residual risk, functional safety is a term that we use to
quantify what we mean by risk. As you said, that risk can be associated with
anything from gearboxes to cruise control systems.”
The role and implications of safety span the automotive design ecosystem and
impact everything from simple automotive components to complex system design
and even the very frontier of safety applications powered by artificial
intelligence. But as Franck notes, it isn’t as easy as it seems.
“One thing which is actually coming in the game is artificial
intelligence. How can I manage a massive amount of data and analyze it
quickly? Artificial intelligence seems to be the solution. Just it seems to be
the solution because everybody says, “Yeah, great, neural network is
great. It’s like a brain. So let’s just use it, then it’s
going to be fine.” But actually, it’s not fine. At least from a
safety perspective, we are not yet at the right level, I
Tune into the podcast with John, Gareth and Franck as they discuss safety as a
concept, how it is implemented and some of the emerging challenges around
autonomous driving and the relationship between hardware and software.