AUTOSAR architecture expands safety and security applications

February 24, 2011 // By Stefan Bunzel, Autosar
Consistent with the growing significance of safety and security for vehicle development, the development partnership AUTOSAR (AUTomotive Open System ARchitecture) published a further release of its specifications. The concepts introduced with Release 4.0 have added technical and functional improvements.

As functional safety is becoming one of the most important topics in automotive development, AUTOSAR addresses the topic of ISO DIS 26262 in Release 4.0 with a series of new features that allow both safety and non-safety applications to operate on the same controller. Additionally, AUTOSAR embeds several security-related features into its software architecture.

AUTOSAR paves the way for innovative electronic systems that further improve performance, safety, and environmental friendliness. By now AUTOSAR has become a de-facto standard for embedded automotive software architecture, but in its previous specification releases there was no explicit focus on safety and security applications. Thus AUTOSAR Release 4.0 contains a large number of new features that were demanded by the different applications of domains the AUTOSAR standard is covering. New concepts introduced in Release 4.0 have added technical and functional improvements and extensions to the main areas including functional safety, architecture, communication stack, methodology and templates, and application interfaces.

Because of the persisting trend of the increasing number of electronically controlled functions within an automobile, the amount of software in a car increases. The automotive industry answered the challenge of functional safety with elaborating the standard ISO DIS 26262, which targets avoiding these risks by providing feasible requirements and processes. Even though the terms safety and security go hand-in-hand, it is important to distinguish them. Safety means functional safety of a system, so that it behaves as specified with absence of unreasonable risk due to hazards caused by malfunctioning behavior, whereas security means the protection of a system against undesired access or usage.

Functional safety features
With Release 4.0, AUTOSAR substantially supports building automotive safety-related applications. This is an outcome of an extensive analysis of the guidance from ISO DIS 26262, which requests the detection and handling of safety issues like hardware faults at runtime, requirements on timing and logical order of execution of applications, communication protection of applications, data corruption, and wrong service calls.

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