Safe Automotive soFtware architEcture



The ITEA 2 SAFE project will speed up the efficient development of safety features in cars. The objective is to extend the AUTOSAR architectural model, enhance methods for defining safety goals and define development processes complying with the new ISO 26262 standard for functional safety in automotive electrical and electronic systems.

Electronics and software are now responsible for over 80% of all innovations in the automotive industry. Modern vehicles are equipped with many extremely complex embedded systems integrating a large number of software and hardware components from different suppliers.

As many of today’s innovations focus on active or passive safety, there are tough demands on systems reliability and functionality which, in turn, put pressure on development processes.

Such challenges require an efficient and cost-effective approach calling for standardisation of methods and architectures for use in system, software, and hardware design.

Leading automotive manufacturers, component suppliers, and software and microelectronics designers worked together to develop the automotive open system architecture (AUTOSAR) standard, now widely used in production vehicles and throughout the automotive supply chain. The new ISO 26262 standard addresses functional safety in car electrical/electronic systems, defining requirements for the entire development process including strict requirements in terms of process documentation, analysis and verification.

SAFE addresses the demands of these new standards, reducing software development efforts while ensuring a technological advantage for Europe through the fast realisation of innovative and high quality yet affordable products.


The three main objectives of SAFE are to:

1.   Extend the AUTOSAR architecture model to integrate effectively artefacts associated with the application of ISO 26262. The extended model will be implemented in a technology reference platform;

2.   Enhance methods such as efficient capturing of safety goals and requirements as well as for safety evaluation or conformance testing to benefit from the integrated model. The technology reference platform will be extended with a set of appropriate plug-ins to allow evaluation of the methods within significant industrial case studies; and

3.   Define an ISO 26262-compliant process on top of model-based development using AUTOSAR. This will be evaluated in realistic and measurable industrial case studies, involving the complete automotive supply chain.

Such challenges can only be tackled effectively in a joint initiative that includes carmakers, their Tier One suppliers, chipmakers and tool suppliers – as well as research organisations which provide a significant background in relevant fields. SAFE project partners will impact the market at several levels:

Manufacturers, suppliers and research partners are focusing on the conceptual work on the development process, while the tool vendors are developing customised tool support, and certification authority provides contributions to the efficient implementation of conformity assessments.


The major outcomes of the SAFE will be:

One of the main contributions of SAFE results is the potential high impact on the standards and regulations as the SAFE project is strongly connected to AUTOSAR and ISO26262. Through its participating members, SAFE will be strongly synchronized with the evolution of these standards. The SAFE dissemination strategy includes the interaction with relevant standardization bodies, relevant industrial user groups, etc.