Safety Critical and Embedded Software Industry Insights


How does ISO 26262 bring Reliability, Robustness and Scrutiny to New Technologies on our Roads?

For adopting and promoting new technologies, and integrating software into user facing systems, the automotive industry has been well ahead of the curve. Considering the advances still to come, it could very well stay in the lead for decades more. Systems such as traction control, ESP and ABS (developed in Formula 1) have improved the performance and safety of passenger vehicles for years now. However, on a few well-publicised occasions, software safety issues in road vehicles have made the headlines and have resulted in vehicle recalls. These recalls have damaged the industry’s reputation and cost it millions in both revenue...

Have you covered *this* when testing C and C++ Software?

The ability to produce reliable technologies that rapidly follow market trends creates a competitive advantage in the digital world.

Many software developers are surprised when the customer reports an error. We spend countless hours defining requirements, testing code and reviewing the final product. Despite this time investment how is it that mistakes find their way into the deliverable unnoticed?

Assuming that the customer is reporting valid concerns, we can answer the question with one of the following statements:


What is meant by Structural (Code) Coverage?

For a procedural language like C, you can identify a function of interest, run some test cases on this function, and then measure what proportion (expressed as a percentage) of the code has been executed. The general rule is that the higher the coverage achieved, then the higher the confidence that it has been thoroughly tested.


Can requirements-based software testing be automated?

Very few people love testing, but technology has come a long way since the days when tests needed to be written manually one by one. Requirements-based testing however, tends to act as a sticking point when teams start to investigate how they can increase their levels of test automation.

With AI development progressing rapidly it is likely that one day machines will be able to comprehend software requirements written in natural language and create and run the necessary requirements-based tests. Unfortunately, this technology is still in its infancy. However, it is definitely still possible to increase automation and reduce the...

Autonomous Cars – Put Your Safety Belt on, the Future is Almost Here!

In 1872, American George Brayton invented the first commercial liquid-fuelled internal combustion engine. In 1876, Nikolaus Otto, working with Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach, patented the compressed charge, four-cycle engine. In 1879, Karl Benz patented a reliable two-stroke gas engine. Looking today at the advances seen in passenger vehicles, Brayton, Otto and Daimler could never have imagined a time when automotive technology would be this advanced. Within 150 years the motor vehicle would have the ability to “see in the dark”. Cars are starting to be able to drive themselves and even deliver pizza, as was recently demonstrated by Ford...

Continuous Integration is Absurd without Unit Testing

Continuous integration is absurd without unit testing. Imagine this conversation between colleagues:

“We are DevOps pioneers,” my colleague says, swinging his arm towards the Dell Inspiron that hums away on the edge of his desk. On the screen, a mass of red boxes blinks into life whilst a cartoon man, grinning in a bowtie, watches on from the top left. 

“Nice. What does it do?” asks Kelly from the test team.

“Checks out our code and builds it...” A pause, I assume for dramatic effect, “…. We are now performing,” he waggles his fingers in an air quotes gesture,...

Safety Critical Software – Out of Sight, Out of Mind

I recently travelled for business to Vietnam. I flew from London to Ho Chi Minh City, then took a few internal flights to and from Hanoi and then finally flew back from Hanoi to London. I travelled 24,633km in 6 days and spent more than 30 hours in the air. I flew on 3 different aircraft types, from 2 manufacturers and with 3 different airlines. I travelled in relative comfort, on time, able to breathe at over 30,000 feet in the air. I didn’t freeze to death. I enjoyed my warm and varied food. I watched movies and hardly felt...


QA Systems experts provide industry insights. Discussing software quality for embedded systems, safety critical software development, testing techniques and automation of development processes.
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