Safety, energy-efficiency, automation and increased levels of comfort and performance are some of the most important drivers of today’s automotive industry. The challenge for automotive companies, operating in an extremely competitive marketplace, is to achieve genuine innovation. We work closely with our customers to help them achieve this. At the heart of CRITICAL Software is the belief that the efficiency of tomorrow’s automobiles rests on increasingly integrated, robust and safe embedded systems, paving the way towards fully autonomous driving.

Our core capabilities in the automotive industry cover the development, verification and validation and functional safety assessment of embedded real-time systems according to ISO 26262. Capable of integrating with the engineering teams of large Tier 1s and OEMs, we focus on supporting clients by employing industry-leading engineering processes.

Combining knowledge of the automotive sector with high-performance techniques and capabilities derived from the space and aerospace sectors, we cover the entire ECU development cycle, from requirements engineering to model-in-the-loop design, model-in-the-loop testing and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing.

If you want to learn more about our work in the automotive industry, check out our dedicated downloads hub.

Embedded Software Development for Automotive

CRITICAL Software’s embedded system development capabilities cover all stages of the development of the V-model, from requirements engineering to model-in-the-loop design, including the detailed design and production of high-integrity software for safety-related systems.

We are able to produce safety-critical applications, board support packages, RTOS components and embedded drivers compliant with the ISO 26262, up to the highest criticality level: ASIL-D. We have strong domain knowledge in communication protocols (CAN, LIN, FlexRay), in RTOS (Integrity, QNX Neutrino, VxWorks), in processor architectures (Tri-core, ARM, PowerArch), and in standardised frameworks such as AUTOSAR.

CRITICAL Software has one of the most innovative hypervisor solutions on the market, enabling different ASIL level applications to run on the same hardware. Developed and proven through applications meeting the rigorous standards of the space sector, this technology has been adapted to the automotive sector as an ASIL C tool.

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Automotive Embedded System Testing Flyer

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IoT-Related Services for Automotive

The automotive sector already uses a wide variety of IoT-related systems, with advances in the industry driven by a highly-competitive marketplace and significant consumer demand for new innovative features. For example, smart phones already offer various vehicle control functions, with many domestic cars now providing real-time location alerts and traffic information.

There’s still much further for the industry to travel though. Sensors in vehicles can provide even more data on things like tyre pressure, engine performance and environmental conditions, benefiting the driver, the manufacturer and, in some cases, the car insurer.

CRITICAL Software believes that the success of these innovative features rests on increasingly integrated, safe and robust embedded systems that will eventually lead to a fully autonomous driving experience.

Our core capabilities in the automotive industry cover the development, verification and validation and functional safety assessment of embedded real-time systems according to ISO 26262. Capable of integrating with engineering teams of large tier 1s and OEMs, we focus on supporting customers by employing industry-leading engineering processes that ensure IoT-related technologies can be safely and valuably integrated into their ecosystems.

Integrated Electronic Systems for Automotive

In the rapidly evolving and demanding automotive industry, CRITICAL Software works with several OEMs in developing the next-generation of vehicles.

Our engineering teams support the development of new automotive systems and platforms, either working collaboratively with client teams or taking full responsibility for system development, including both hardware and software design. Our track record demonstrates an ability to exceed industry standards in supporting our customers' goals in terms of both time-to-market and the quality standards delivered.

Working in compliance with industry standards like ISO 26262 and ASPICE, our engineers are able to deliver quality engineering services and innovative solutions in integrated electronic systems across the automotive industry.

RAMS and Certification Support for Automotive

Advances in electronic control units (ECUs) were key to many of the efficiency and safety improvements we now enjoy when using the automobile. These advances turned the car from a mechanical machine to an immensely complex cyber-physical system, changing the driver's role in subtle yet impressive ways. In the future, the driver may be removed from his position behind the wheel altogether.

Whatever the future holds for drivers, the increasing complexity of ECUs and the software they host, and the relentless market pressure to shrink development cycles, poses a formidable challenge to designers, developers and functional-safety practitioners across the entire supply chain. In this context, ISO 26262 is a proposed solution to these new safety challenges, but comes with challenges of its own.

CRITICAL Software has deep-rooted experience in functional-safety and critical embedded systems across several industry sectors. Our broad experience in safety and certification enables us to help our customers to achieve effective functional-safety, tackling and applying ISO 26262 and more, in a business efficient way. Our RAMS & Certification Support services for the automotive sector include:

  • Training & coaching: on ISO 26262 and on how to introduce formal safety management and product assurance processes in an effective and efficient way.
  • Safety analysis: management of functional safety across the lifecycle, spanning through system, hardware, software or any combination of these. This includes criticality determination, allocation of ASIL to functions, assurance of partitioning integrity (for mixed-criticality systems), elaboration of the safety case, and more.
  • Project planning & support: definition of the project plans required by ISO 26262, enabling effective compliance and project efficiency. This may also include project specific support to implement safety across the lifecycle.
  • Safety & quality audits: performed at either a project or organisational level to uncover existing gaps and produce recommendations on how best to overcome them.

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Automated testing suite that injects faults and monitors the activation of errors and their impact on the target system.

Automotive RAMS Flyer
Automotive RAMS Flyer

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Safety Management
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Safety-Critical V&V for Automotive

The automobile is so prevalent in our daily lives that we often fail to acknowledge the massive array of technologies packed into the modern car. Advances in electronic control units (ECUs) were key to many of the efficiency and safety improvements we now enjoy when using the automobile. These advances turned the car from a mechanical machine to an immensely complex cyber-physical system, changing the driver's role in subtle yet impressive ways. In the future, the driver may be removed from his or her position behind the wheel altogether.

The landscape we live in is marked by more complex ECUs controlled by increasingly complex software, a wide range of variants and shrinking development cycles. While the cycles for new models are still relatively large, cycles for ECU/SW variants, which are deployed across many models, are at the epicentre of time-to-market pressures. Within this context, the impact of failure on manufacturer reputations has dramatically grown and safety concerns in the industry are on the rise, as evidenced by the introduction of ISO 26262.

The automotive industry now has to deal with ever more complex systems, shorter time frames and less tolerance to failure from markets and end users. This is a formidable challenge for Verification & Validation (V&V). One can hardly rely on in-vehicle testing as the main feedback line on ECU safety, performance and functional correctness. The industry needs innovative and efficient approaches to V&V built upon lessons learnt and best practices. This is where CRITICAL Software stands: a company that started with a fault injection tool for space applications and has since performed V&V for ECUs and software deployed in aircraft, spacecraft, rail rolling stock, medical devices, automotive systems and more.

CRITICAL Software’s V&V services for the automotive industry include:

  • Testing of BSP/RTOS: testing of low-level software including board support packages (BSP), real-time operating systems (RTOS) and, in particular, multi-core mixed criticality systems (i.e. testing the inner foundations of the modern ECU).
  • Testing of ECUs and critical software applications: testing of hardware and software safety functions in environments that span across software-in-the-loop (SIL), model-in-the-loop (MIL) and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL). This includes a strict fulfilment of industry standards (such as ISO 26262) and a focus on efficient testing through effective automation and design of tests for reuse across variants.

We offer our clients a unique 4-stage approach to accommodate their specific V&V requirements:

  • V&V Setup & Go: designed to support clients in setting up an effective V&V environment and to bring them up to speed with the use of key tools and resources.
  • V&V Analyser: designed to help clients understand the gaps that exist in their projects according to the relevant industry standards in their area.
  • V&V Accelerator: designed to provide a quick response team to help clients overcome project peaks and other challenging or unplanned V&V scenarios.
  • V&V Plus: designed as a bespoke, comprehensive service to provide clients with the full-spectrum of V&V activities

Safety Training for Automotive

To guarantee the appropriate levels of road safety, ISO 26262 addresses the planning and development of safety-critical systems, setting out the Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) requirements for Electronic Control Units. CRITICAL Software’s ISO 26262 training course focuses on the various aspects of automotive embedded systems that need to be developed and integrated according to the lifecycle requirements set out in ISO 26262.

Managing the Functional Safety of Road Vehicles

Our safety training course covers the following main modules, developing a full understanding of the implications of ISO 26262:

  • ISO-SupProc: supporting the processes required for developing safety-critical embedded systems
  • ISO-FSM: exploring the functional-safety management of road vehicles
  • ISO-SysDev: considering functional-safety in embedded systems development
  • ISO-HwDev: considering functional-safety in hardware development
  • ISO-SwDev: considering functional-safety in software development

Find out more and register for the course.

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Managing the Functional Safety of Road Vehicles Flyer

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Want to know more about our work in the automotive industry?

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