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Accelerating Safety In Automotive Software

Embedded source-code analysis technology specialist GrammaTech has attended the Embedded World conference this week in Nuremberg, Germany to announce a new resource for simplifying the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard for automotive electric and electronic systems.

According to Mark Zarins, vice president of products at GrammaTech, "Software has an increasingly important role in the modern automobile. A car may contain more than 10 million lines of software code and some of this code controls critical functionality. In one example, a car was recently recalled due to a software-related issue that could result in the unintended disabling of passenger-side airbags. Another car was recalled because faulty software could result in the engine being inadvertently shut down. Similar recalls have affected a wide variety of vehicles produced by different manufacturers."

The company has released supplementary documentation to its CodeSonar static-analysis tool that details how static analysis can be used to support an organization's ISO 26262 initiatives. CodeSonar has a long history of being used to improve reliability in critical industries like avionics as it performs deep analysis to provide a higher level of assurance. "In the competitive automotive industry, manufacturers are under pressure to create new features," continued Mark Zarins. "Some of these features improve safety while others provide better comfort or entertainment. Software plays a key role in most of these new features, underscoring the importance of software quality. In addition, some of the software-enabled features employ networking, which can expose the automobile to potential security threats like worms or malicious code. Yet the growing code size of the software makes it increasingly difficult to test and verify. Manufacturers are adopting static analysis as part of the test plan to increase reliability."

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