motorcycle functional safety software
March 3, 2020

What Are Motorcycle Standards For Functional Safety?

Static Analysis
Security & Compliance

Motorcycle standards for functional safety have become essential in recent years, as there has been an explosion in the number of electronic safety systems for motorcycles. From anti-lock brakes to wheelie control, these systems depend on software.

If there is a software failure, it may result in hazardous system behavior or a reduction in the effectiveness of the safety system. And ultimately, this can cause serious accidents involving riders and other road users. For that reason, it is important that you understand what are motorcycle standards for functional safety and why MSIL is important.

Here, we explain what are motorcycle standards and motorcycle safety integrity levels (MSIL).

Requirements For Motorcycle Manufacturers: Motorcycle Standards For Functional Safety

ISO 26262 is the functional safety standard for Road Vehicles. The first edition, published in 2011, covered series production passenger cars. While much of the guidance contained within this standard was also relevant to motorcycles, the hazard analysis and risk assessment for motorcycles required a different approach.

The reason for this is that motorcycle safety is dependent upon multiple external factors, such as helmets, protective equipment, and training. And, the motorcyclist has an increased responsibility to keep their vehicle safe while riding.

What’s more, a motorcycle may encounter a risk as a result of its behavior rather than a hardware or software failure. For example, a car has been designed to safely drive in inclement weather, whereas a motorcycle has not. Consequently, if a motorcyclist chooses to ride their bike during inclement weather, they are accepting a higher degree of risk.

For that reason, we provide an overview of motorcycle standards and MSIL (Motorcycle Safety Integrity Level). And, offer compliance tips for motorcycle software development teams.

Why Are Motorcycle Safety Integrity Levels (MSIL) Important for Motorcycle Standards?

The scope of the second edition of ISO 26262, published in 2018, was extended to provide guidance to motorcycle manufacturers. Part 12, “Adaption of ISO 26262 for Motorcycles” was added. Part 12 places more responsibility on the motorcyclist rather than the motorcycle to mitigate risks. To better assign safety criticality to a system, the Motorcycle Safety Integrity Levels (MSIL) were developed.

In a similar way to Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL), MSIL is determined by three factors — severity, exposure, and controllability.

There are four MSIL values, named A-D. MSIL A is the minimum level of risk, while MSIL D is the maximum. This means that MSIL D has stricter compliance requirements than MSIL A.

When determining MSILs, there’s also a fifth option — QM (quality management). This is used to note that there isn’t a safety requirement for that component. However, it is generally still recommended that you comply with the requirement in order to improve the quality of the product.

Once the MSIL has been determined, it can be mapped to an equivalent ASIL:

MSIL

ASIL

QM

QM

A

QM

B

A

C

B

D

C

How Do Motorcycle Standards Effect Software Development?

Even before the publication of the second edition, major motorcycle software developers followed ISO 26262 as a best practice guide. They applied it based on their own domain knowledge. The second edition brings motorcycle software formally within the scope and clarifies the functional safety process for two-wheeled machines. Now, all motorcycle manufacturers great and small will need to develop their software in accordance with the requirements of ISO 26262 Part 6, which is the most important section for software developers.

Complying can be difficult for development teams. Systems and codebases grow complex. And that makes it difficult to verify and validate software. You can make it easier by using software development tools.

Motorcycle Standards Help to Establish Requirements Traceability

Fulfilling compliance requirements — and proving you met them — is a tedious process. You need to document the requirements and trace them to other artifacts — including tests, issues, and source code.

Establishing requirements traceability makes your verification process easier — especially with a tool like Helix ALM. And it helps you manage risk in the development process.

Storing your code in Helix Core — version control from Perforce — securely manages revision history for all your digital assets. You'll get fine-grained access controls, high-visibility audit logs, strong password security, and secure replication. So, you can be confident in your code.

Learn more about leveraging traceability for compliance.

Traceability for safety standards

Apply Motorcycle Standards and MSIL for Functional Safety

Ensuring that code is safe, secure, and reliable can be difficult. You need to fulfill specific coding and design guidelines.

Applying a coding standard, such as MISRA® or AUTOSAR, makes it easier to verify your code against the safety standard guidelines. Especially when you use a static analyzer like Helix QAC.

Learn more about applying coding standards for compliance with the safety standard.

comply with motorcycle standards