Let’s face it, engineers come in many forms (industrial, automotive, electrical, mechanical, computer science, chemical, aerospace, biomedical, etc.), but which branch of engineering is home to functional safety?
Though automobiles are traditionally mechanical systems, their newfound intelligence has changed the safety ballgame. Electrical & electronic systems now need to be safe. This in turn requires EE and computer science specialists to take on safety responsibilities…not only to ‘play the game’ as designers, but to referee the ‘rules of the game’ as safety managers and safety analysts. Functional safety also requires systems-thinkers, who can understand how a fault or failure condition can impact the score of the game.
The smarter cars become, the harder engineers must work to maintain a “state of the art” when it comes to safety. For example, the second edition of the ISO 26262 standard, published December 2018, now includes more guidelines for semiconductors. Safety must be implemented within the deep detailed designs of hardware and software. At the same time, the end goal is now full autonomous driving, which brings with it a new era of safety challenges.
Today, safety of automotive technologies is dependent on safe design of electronic hardware and software. This is the scope of ISO 26262. We need the best electrical engineers and computer scientists to become more engaged in safety. And these people must be more than just great engineers… they must be people of integrity and responsibility. Because after all, we rely upon them to help make our world safe!
Is your background in electrical engineering or computer science? If so, learn more about functional safety opportunities at kVA by visiting our careers page.