Automotive Software and the Law

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AFAIK there are no laws that regulate automotive software, specifically  
-- just threats of lawsuits if a car kills someone, and systems-level  
requirements that cover cases like Volkwagen and their dirty diesels.

Am I right?  Or are there safety (or other) regulations that extend their  
tentacles specifically into automotive software, the way DO-128 does in  
avionics, and the various IEC standards do with medical devices?

--  

Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
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Re: Automotive Software and the Law
On 2017-03-14 7:27 PM, Tim Wescott wrote:
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As you eluded to there is quite a few system level requirements. For the
most part it is a little like DO-128 lite. Most of the system
regulations are EPA related broadly in three categories requirements,
testing and documentation. There are a lot of industry related agreement
on industry wide device compatibility much of it based around various
standards.

Contact me offline and I probably point you to specific documents that
affect what you are doing.

My personal knowledge is all most all power-train specific.

w..

Re: Automotive Software and the Law
On 14/03/2017 23:27, Tim Wescott wrote:
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Here is one for FPGA/ASIC designs:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mentor-graphics-achieves-iso-26262-certification-for-questa-product-line-tool-qualification-report-300422187.html

"Today's safety-critical automotive products require development and  
tool flows which are proven safe in accordance with ISO 26262," said  


qualification reports for software tools used in the development of  
safety-critical products have been properly assessed in accordance with  
ISO 26262, reducing the costly efforts needed for tool qualification."

Hans
www.ht-lab.com


Re: Automotive Software and the Law
On Wed, 15 Mar 2017 11:18:37 +0000, HT-Lab wrote:

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iso-26262-certification-for-questa-product-line-tool-qualification-
report-300422187.html
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Thanks Hans!  Actually, it looks like ISO 26262 covers anything  
electronic, including the software.

Do you know if it's been adopted into law anywhere?

--  
Tim Wescott
Control systems, embedded software and circuit design
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Re: Automotive Software and the Law
On 15/03/2017 16:36, Tim Wescott wrote:
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Hi Tim,

I assume with law you mean if this is the standard that all automotive  
suppliers/manufacturers tried to adhere to (similar to DO-254 for the  
avionics market), I so then I believe this is indeed the case.

However, I have no experience with this standard, I just play with  
FPGA's day in day out...

Regards,
Hans.
www.ht-lab.com


Re: Automotive Software and the Law
On Wed, 15 Mar 2017 17:12:28 +0000, HT-Lab wrote:

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Actually by "law" I mean "law".  Are there regulations in any country or  
other polity that require companies manufacturing or selling automobiles  
to adhere to the standard before they can legally sell their wares?  Is  
there anywhere in the world where not following ISO 26262 will have a cop  
or a government lawyer knocking on your door?  Is there anywhere in the  
world where, before you can offer a newly-designed car for sale, you have  
to show documentation that proves that you've followed the standard, or  
regulations based on the standard?

--  

Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
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Re: Automotive Software and the Law
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Here's a cynical response: No, no, and no; not until somebody is killed.

Straying off topic, I personally believe that lack of gov regulation is  
the single biggest weakness of the technology.  Imagine what will happen  
when a steering wheel free car is involved in a fatal crash.  The entire  
fleet will be grounded.

JJS

Re: Automotive Software and the Law
On Wed, 15 Mar 2017 11:48:13 -0700, John Speth wrote:

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Well, yes, I'm pretty sure that's the case in the US.  I know there's  
regulations governing safety features behaving correctly at some point in  
the process, but I suspect there isn't anything that governs the kind of  
stuff that can cause faults like Toyota's sudden unintended acceleration  
incidents.

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Well, lack of proper care in the execution, which problem may only be  
fixed with government regulation.

The entire Toyota fleet wasn't grounded even after several (possibly  
dozens of) deaths worldwide from unintended acceleration; I'm not sure  
that steer-by-wire or even autonomous vehicles will be stopped.

--  

Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
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Re: Automotive Software and the Law
On 2017-03-15 6:31 PM, Tim Wescott wrote:
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It is one thing to provide non critical add on's when it is part of the
critical components with real consequences. I believe that the Toyota
problem was component failure without an appropriate fail-safe mode even
though there was testimony that given the following 24 conditions or so
it could have been software. Another example of this type of failure is
the GM ignition switches.

It has been a long time since we have seen a fleet shutdown but
mandatory few day recalls for ranges of serial numbers are actually
quite common.

The ability to flash software has made a real difference in a lot of
area's. There are often several versions of software depending on where
the vehicle is located.

w..

Re: Automotive Software and the Law
On Wed, 15 Mar 2017 19:23:04 -0400, Walter Banks wrote:

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There was a lawsuit, and a code review by an independent group documented  
cases where the right combination of normal inputs would cause the  
throttle pedal position calculation task to die, which in turn would hold  
the throttle at some high value until the brakes were entirely let off  
and then reapplied.

They actually replicated the bug on cars on dynos.  Search on "barr" and  
"toyota" and you'll find lots of material.

http://www.safetyresearch.net/Library/BarrSlides_FINAL_SCRUBBED.pdf

--  

Tim Wescott
Wescott Design Services
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Re: Automotive Software and the Law
John Speth wrote:
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There have been fatalities already when the car was on "autopilot".

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--  
Les Cargill

Re: Automotive Software and the Law
On 17/03/17 10:54, Les Cargill wrote:
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But now /deliberation/ and multiple parties are
involved in the decision.

Philosophy can be useful. In this case, should
you /design/ the car so that it chooses to kill
the driver (by swerving into a brick wall) in
preference to killing 10 pedestrians?

Fun, fun, fun.


Re: Automotive Software and the Law
Tom Gardner wrote:
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The trolley problem isn't that fun :)

No, you assign agency to the driver with the automation
as subcontractor and shrug if it goes wrong. All
the cases I know about there was a strong probability
that a human driver would have made the same error.

In effect, the (non)drivers are test pilots.

--  
Les Cargill

Re: Automotive Software and the Law
On 17/03/17 12:08, Les Cargill wrote:
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What are these "drivers" of which you speak?


Re: Automotive Software and the Law
On Fri, 17 Mar 2017 05:54:43 -0500, Les Cargill wrote:

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I've seen claims that, statistically, the self-driving cars are safer,  
but generate more news in a crash.  Hence, since they're a new thing,  
they get tarred and feathered.

Dunno what truth is, but it certainly seems plausible.

--  
Tim Wescott
Control systems, embedded software and circuit design
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Re: Automotive Software and the Law
snipped-for-privacy@seemywebsite.com says...
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Also how statistically significant they are in volumes, standard cars
how many millions per country, driverless how many thousands.

What are the accident ratios reported (even to insurers for each type)
Then the unreported ones.



--  
Paul Carpenter          | snipped-for-privacy@pcserviceselectronics.co.uk
<http://www.pcserviceselectronics.co.uk/ PC Services
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Re: Automotive Software and the Law
Tim Wescott wrote:
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Yep. And in the larger sense, crashes will be analyzed and fed back into  
various code bases. This could play the role that the NTSB plays in  
aviation ... mishaps.


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Statistical arguments are like that.

--  
Les Cargill

Re: Automotive Software and the Law
Tim Wescott wrote:

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In Denmark a car model has to be approved by the authorities before it
can be sold.  The approval is related to safety and pollution, but I'm
not sure if there is a formal requirement that the safety argument is
based on ISO 26262.

Jacob
--  
"people who live in glass houses shouldn't be throwing rocks
 -- especially at those who don't live in glass houses"

Re: Automotive Software and the Law
Am 15.03.2017 um 18:32 schrieb Tim Wescott:
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Would it be law that works that way, or would it be a certification agency?

As I understand, technology has to fulfill certain systems requirements
(for a car, things like "can steer", "can brake", "engine warning
light"), and there's recognized state-of-the-art how you do that. The
law doesn't say your steering column has to work mechanically, but
everyone agrees that's a good way to do it. And if you do it
differently, you have to prove to achieve equivalent safety.

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In Germany, you need a type approval to sell cars to customers
(alternatively, customers would have to get that approval themselves).
You probably don't get a type approval for a steering column programmed
in Visual Basic because you cannot prove its safety.

On the other hand, do you really want to build a car, or are you
building components? In that case, the automakers' rules are not less
important than laws. Laws don't care about quiescent current; the
automaker does. Laws don't care about MISRA or V-model; the automaker does.


  Stefan

Re: Automotive Software and the Law
On Thu, 16 Mar 2017 11:09:29 +0100, Stefan Reuther wrote:

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In order for a certification agency to have the authority to do such,  
there has to be a law that gives it that power.  So, law.

Based on what little I know for sure, automotive safety certification is  
based on end-product black-box testing.  Such testing may make sense when  
everything is mechanical and all systems are (at least relatively) simple  
and decoupled, but it's not necessarily sufficient when there's CPUs in  
the mix.

--  
Tim Wescott
Control systems, embedded software and circuit design
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