Functional safety

MISRA acts as the focal point for functional safety standardization activities in the UK automotive industry.

MISRA’s interests in functional safety go back to the early 1990’s; our first publication Development guidelines for vehicle based software published in 1994 was the first automotive industry guidance on functional safety. It was published around 10 years before work started at the international level on ISO 26262. Many of the principles emerging in IEC 61508, such as safety integrity levels, were incorporated into this document. The approach to “controllability” in ISO 26262 can also be traced back to these guidelines and some EU research projects in the DRIVE Safely programme.

ISO 26262 Road vehicles — Functional safety is the automotive industry’s interpretation of the generic functional safety standard IEC 61508. It is developed by ISO/TC22/SC32/WG8.

  • ISO — International Organization for Standardization
  • TC22 — technical committee responsible for road vehicle standards
  • SC32 — sub-committee responsible for standards for electrical and electronic systems
  • WG8 — working group responsible for functional safety; standards developed by this WG include ISO 26262 and ISO 21448 (safety of the intended functionality — SOTIF)

Each nation participating nominates experts to WG8 through their national standards body. In the UK, BSI are the national standards body. While BSI appoints the experts, MISRA has an official liaison to BSI and has a working group of around 20 functional safety experts who comment on working drafts and create technical content for ISO 26262. These comments are then submitted to BSI for inclusion in the standards-making process.

Several of MISRA’s participants are also official ISO experts who participate directly in the working groups.