Model-Based Simulation of Safety-Critical Automotive Control Systems

Embedded systems highly contribute to the efficiency, safety, and usability of today’s means of transport such as cars and airplanes. Due to the possible hazards and risks involved with their operation, safety standards like DO-178C for avionics and ISO 26262 for automotive recommend the application of methods and tools regarded as state-of-the-art. Functional safety requirements imposed on hardware and software imply the detection of malfunctions and taking corrective actions, before hazards actually may occur. Among the key challenges is the prediction and verification of the system’s timing behavior. Experience from numerous automotive development projects shows that model-based methods and real-time simulation tools should be used at an early stage in order to effectively guide design decisions and achieve the safety goals set at the system level.

Verification of Timing and Performance Requirements

Timing and performance requirements must be continuously monitored during the development life cycle guiding architectural design decisions and optimizing the allocation of resources. To efficiently handle the vast number of requirements, means to automate the verification process are needed.

Trace data obtained by virtual prototyping and simulation or by measurements on the target hardware is uploaded to a dedicated test system running the actual trace analysis solution. Here data from multiple ECU sources is merged, synchronized and afterwards verified against the set of timing and performance requirements. Eventually, an evaluation report is generated, and notifications to interested stakeholders are sent out.