We have come a long way since Karl Benz patented and developed what would become known as the modern automobile. The rise of driver-assist technology, Internet connectivity, control-by-wire functionality, and other innovations means a greater reliance on software to carry out all types of functions — not just traditionally safety-critical systems. In fact, today’s car has more lines of code than a jet fighter. But with so much software being integrated along several tiers of the automotive supply chain, how do we ensure that the car as a system is safe, secure, and reliable?
Automotive Software Survey
We asked software development professionals during a recent webinar a few questions about the perceptions of software quality in the automotive industry. The results not only provide insights about the perception of software quality ownership within the industry, but they also point to a lack of consensus amongst peers.
How Does Your Organization Determine Functional Safety Requirements for the Supply Chain?
50% of respondents said that they rely on a certificate of compliance from suppliers. The other 50% said that policies that define testing protocols, including coverage, determine the functional safety requirements.
When is a Hardware or Software Component Considered Done?
69% of respondents said that they consider a component finished when internal tests show 0% failure, versus 23% of respondents who said that passing government certifications means that the component is finished. Only 8% said that a component is only finished when processes defined in standards, such as MISRA, are followed.
Who Owns Functional Safety for an Automotive Hardware Component that Contains Software?
57% of respondents said that ultimately the manufacturer that assembles and sells the vehicle is responsible for the functional safety of all software-containing components. 35% of respondents said that functional safety is owned by the supplier of the hardware/software, whereas only 7% said that it’s the responsibility of the architects/programmers who design and create the code.
Automotive Software Quality Risks and What You Can Do to Mitigate Them
The following infographic identifies the growing surface area that cars of the not-too-distant future, as well as cars on the road today, expose that could be exploited by malicious hackers.