ISO 26262 is a derivative of the more general IEC 61508 functional safety standard for electrical and electronic (E/E) systems in road vehicles. It has rapidly become the global safety standard to consider when designing and developing electrical and electronic systems for use in automobiles.

ISO 26262 is based on the premise that we can define our safety objectives, derive requirements from them and then show that those requirements are achieved through a rigorous design and development methodology. Systems to support extremely complex applications such as ADAS and autonomous driving require advanced neural networks and other machine learning techniques that break the direct link between the safety objectives and their achievement.

In this paper, we explore the link between the ISO 26262 objectives and these kinds of complex implementations, and how to manage safety in this increasingly complex world.