New ISO 26262 Series released on Road vehicles — Functional safety

The new ISO 26262 series has just been issued.  It’s been on our watch list for most of 2011!   ISO 26262 addresses possible hazards caused by malfunctioning behavior of electrical and/or electronic (E/E) safety-related systems, including interaction of these systems.  These types of hazards have been the basis of a number of vehicle recalls here in the U.S., so the release of this standards set is timely.

The series does not address hazards related to electric shock, fire, smoke, heat, radiation, toxicity, flammability, reactivity, corrosion, release of energy and similar hazards, unless directly caused by malfunctioning behaviour of E/E safety-related systems.

ISO 26262 is intended to be applied to safety-related systems that include one or more electrical and/or electronic systems and that are installed in series production passenger cars with a maximum gross vehicle mass up to 3 500 kg.  ISO 26262 does not address unique E/E systems in special purpose vehicles such as vehicles designed for drivers with disabilities.

Systems and their components released for production, or systems and their components already under development prior to the publication date of ISO 26262, are exempted from the scope.  For further development or alterations based on systems and their components released for production prior to the publication of ISO 26262, only the modifications will be developed in accordance with ISO 26262.

ISO 26262 does not address the nominal performance of E/E systems, even if dedicated functional performance standards exist for these systems (e.g. active and passive safety systems, brake systems, Adaptive Cruise Control).

ISO 26262-1:2011, “Road vehicles — Functional safety — Part 1: Vocabulary,”  specifies the terms, definitions and abbreviated terms for application in all parts of ISO 26262.

ISO 26262-2:2011, “Road vehicles — Functional safety — Part 2: Management of functional safety,” specifies the requirements for functional safety management for automotive applications, including the following:

  • project-independent requirements with regard to the organizations involved (overall safety management), and
  • project-specific requirements with regard to the management activities in the safety lifecycle (i.e. management during the concept phase and product development, and after the release for production).

ISO 26262-3:2011, “Road vehicles — Functional safety — Part 3: Concept phase,” specifies the requirements for the concept phase for automotive applications, including the following:

  • item definition,
  • initiation of the safety lifecycle,
  • hazard analysis and risk assessment, and
  • functional safety concept.

ISO 26262-4:2011, “Road vehicles — Functional safety — Part 4: Product development at the system level”  specifies the requirements for product development at the system level for automotive applications, including the following:

  • requirements for the initiation of product development at the system level,
  • specification of the technical safety requirements,
  • the technical safety concept,
  • system design,
  • item integration and testing,
  • safety validation,
  • functional safety assessment, and
  • product release.

ISO 26262-5:2011, “Road vehicles — Functional safety — Part 5: Product development at the hardware level,” specifies the requirements for product development at the hardware level for automotive applications, including the following:

  • requirements for the initiation of product development at the hardware level,
  • specification of the hardware safety requirements,
  • hardware design,
  • hardware architectural metrics, and
  • evaluation of violation of the safety goal due to random hardware failures and hardware integration and testing.

The requirements of ISO 26262-5:2011 for hardware elements are applicable both to non-programmable and programmable elements, such as ASIC, FPGA and PLD. Furthermore, for programmable electronic elements, requirements in ISO 26262-6, ISO 26262-8:2011, Clause 11, and ISO 26262-8:2011, Clause 12, are applicable.

ISO 26262-6:2011, “Road vehicles — Functional safety — Part 6: Product development at the software level,” specifies the requirements for product development at the software level for automotive applications, including the following:

  • requirements for initiation of product development at the software level,
  • specification of the software safety requirements,
  • software architectural design,
  • software unit design and implementation,
  • software unit testing,
  • software integration and testing, and
  • verification of software safety requirements.

ISO 26262-7:2011, “Road vehicles — Functional safety — Part 7: Production and operation,” specifies the requirements for production, operation, service and decommissioning.

ISO 26262-8:2011, “Road vehicles — Functional safety — Part 8: Supporting processes,” specifies the requirements for supporting processes, including the following:

  • interfaces within distributed developments,
  • overall management of safety requirements,
  • configuration management,
  • change management,
  • verification,
  • documentation,
  • confidence in the use of software tools,
  • qualification of software components,
  • qualification of hardware components, and
  • proven in use argument.

ISO 26262-9:2011, “Road vehicles — Functional safety — Part 9: Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL)-oriented and safety-oriented analyses,” specifies the requirements for Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL)-oriented and safety-oriented analyses, including the following:

  • requirements decomposition with respect to ASIL tailoring,
  • criteria for coexistence of elements,
  • analysis of dependent failures, and
  • safety analyses.

An additional part 10, ISO-26262-10:2011, “Road vehicles — Functional safety — Part 10: Guideline on ISO 26262,” is expected to be released shortly.

All current ISO standards, and many obsolete editions, may be purchased from Document Center Inc. using our website,  Or consider contacting us by phone (650-591-7600), fax (650-591-7617) or email (

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Claudia Bach

Claudia Bach is the President of Document Center Inc. and a world-wide recognized expert on Standards and Standards Distribution. You can connect with her on Google+

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