Guest author: Joe Wlad, Vice President, Business Development, Verocel, Inc.
The automotive industry has adopted ISO 26262 as its functional safety standard for electronic systems. The current version of ISO 26262 was published in 2011, with a second edition scheduled for release in 2018. The increased use of software in automotive systems such as driver assist, brake control and engine and systems management has placed a greater scrutiny on ensuring the software is safe. Modern vehicles now contain millions of lines of software and software quality is more important than ever. While automotive designers and suppliers have 5 years’ experience using ISO 26262, the bar for software compliance is now higher due to increased complexity, integration and automation. Moreover, one can expect regulatory oversight to increase in the future due to changing policies. In September 2016, the U.S. DOT issued a new federal policy for safe testing and deployment of automated vehicles. This new policy seeks to strike a fair balance between innovation and regulatory oversight but will require additional effort from vehicle makers and suppliers who wish to use forms of automation in their future designs.
Historically, all automotive companies and suppliers practiced a form of “self-certification” regarding their systems, hardware and software. To date, there is no pre-market approval process and no government regulator in the loop. Manufacturers do their own due diligence and any government oversight of safety design, development and production comes into play only after vehicles go into production. Even though a pre-market approval process for road vehicles would be impractical even for autonomous features, designers will have to place additional emphasis on software design and verification practices in the near future. Fortunately, ISO 26262 addresses the key requirements for software development and design and software suppliers like RTI are prepared to assist designers in ensuring compliance with ISO 26262 software requirements.
ISO 26262 covers functional safety at the system, hardware and software levels. To be considered fully compliant with ISO 26262, all areas must be addressed at once meaning that the software has to be integrated onto a given hardware platform and within a given system before it is approved. This poses a dilemma for suppliers who wish to use COTS software such as an operating system or communication layer because it places an additional certification burden on the supplier to represent software they may not have designed themselves. Companies like RTI and Verocel have addressed this problem by providing both certification evidence and a framework to use that evidence in any system design and achieve ISO 26262 compliance at ASIL-D. The details of this approach are documented in a whitepaper called ISO 26262 Compliance Using Approved Software Components for Road Vehicles which can be downloaded at both the RTI and Verocel websites.
The whitepaper provides a complete background on ISO 26262 processes and what parts of the standard would apply to COTS software components. It also provides a summary of key characteristics of COTS software that can be used in road vehicle designs as well as documentation and evidence to assist the integrator in achieving ISO 26262 compliance. RTI Connext DDS Cert supports the DDS (Data Distribution Service) family of standards and is a certifiable middleware available with a complete, commercially supported certification package to support ISO 26262 certification, including ASIL-D. Connext DDS Cert provides an architecture and hardware-independent layer of software that can be used on virtually any system design. It also comes with the certification evidence that supports ISO 26262, sections 2, 6 and 8 as well as additional guidance and information that helps designers integrate Connext DDS and retain certification credit in their system.
Automotive designers and suppliers need to prepare for a future where increased regulatory compliance for software will be a norm. The days of complete self-certification autonomy are coming to an end and suppliers will need to rely on an entire software ecosystem of suppliers who can meet the current and future ISO 26262 requirements head-on. RTI and Verocel have broad experience in delivering certified software to customers in many industries and we are prepared to assist you.
Think it’s time to dust off your Connext DDS skills? Do you want to impress your boss and co-workers with all of the cool things Connext DDS can do for your projects, quickly? We know that showing the power of infrastructure tools can be challenging, but we have a solution: RTI Shapes Demo. Matrix, an RTI partner, has created some amazing videos that we’ve compiled into one, which is sure to get your creativity flowing!
The video features the following seven scenarios. All of them were created through variations in DDS configurations using the Shapes demo.
- Introduction to IDL: see how to use Interactive Data Language to generate DDS topics.
- Basics of QoS: quickly learn QoS fundamentals, such as History, Content Filter topic and Time Based filter.
- Excel Spreadsheets Demo: teach Excel new tricks and watch your real-time data coming to life in dynamic diagrams and charts!
- History QoS: research the benefits of History QoS for your project.
- Late Joiner Read: learn about Durability and History QoS by comparing the behavior of a late joiner and an alive subscriber.
- Partition QoS: understand a concept of “visibility planes” associated with Partition QoS.
- DDS Versioning Capability (X-Types): learn how to use the power of DDS X-Types for evolving your systems while maintaining backward compatibility.
Are you ready to advance your knowledge and try out these scenarios for yourself? Simply download and install the Shapes Demo application now! It’s a free RTI Connext DDS learning tool that everyone on your team can learn quickly, and it requires no coding.
The use of robotics is growing across all industries and all facets of our lives. Robots can be found virtually everywhere, doing tasks ranging from mundane to extraordinary. Today, robots are used for sorting and distributing packages in distribution warehouses, for diffusing bombs in military campaigns, for space exploration on Mars and beyond, for minimally invasive surgery in operating rooms, for underwater exploration, for controlling autonomous tractors in agriculture, and much more. Even our cars are evolving into self-driving robots.
In order to effectively serve these many roles, robotic systems are becoming more and more complex, involving many processors working together and integrating disparate components into a heterogeneous system. These complex systems require mission-critical execution as well as real-time performance.
To meet these requirements many companies are turning to the Data Distribution Service (DDS) standard for the communication backbone of their robotic systems. DDS is a middleware protocol and API standard for data-centric connectivity from the Object Management Group (OMG). It’s used to integrate components of a system, providing low-latency data connectivity, extreme reliability, and a scalable architecture that business and mission-critical required by Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
And the good news is that RTI’s DDS implementation is being used by (or designed into) many of the robotics applications listed above. RTI Connext DDS is extremely well suited to robotics applications because it provides:
- High reliability. Connext DDS is industry-proven, it’s been used in mission-critical applications around the world, and it has been deployed in more applications than any other DDS implementation.
- Security. Connext DDS Secure provides the world’s first standards-compliant, off-the-shelf messaging platform that delivers the security, performance, and safety required for Industrial IoT deployment. It complies with the new Data Distribution Service (DDS) Security specification from OMG.
- Safety certification. Connext DDS is the only DDS implementation to achieve DO178A level C certification.
- High throughput and low latency communication.
- Support for communication transports. This includes UDP, TCP, bare, CAN bus, and shared memory. RTI’s DDS implementation includes a plugin transport architecture that makes it easy to create custom transports.
- Standardization. DDS provides a standard API allows developers to port DDS applications to any DDS implementation. DDS also provides a standard wire protocol (RTPS) that allows different DDS protocols to communicate with each other. This provides interoperability and eliminates vendor lock-in.
To learn more about RTI Connext DDS and its support for robotics applications, please join us at the upcoming seminar:
Hilton Garden Inn
9:00am to 12:00pm