Transportation Safety: 5 Protocols & Processes to Know

Safety is paramount when it comes to transportation. With more than one million road fatalities occurring annually around the world, there’s plenty of room for increased safety measures. Fortunately, a dynamic range of protocols can help make our transportation technology, and thus our roadways and railways, safer. The well-known ISO 26262 is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to measures taken to help protect people around the world.

ISO 26262 functional safety

You’ve no doubt heard of ISO 26262. The scope of this system is considerable – ranging from the management of functional safety to the regulation of the product development process, as well as the determination of risk classes, safety lifecycle and validation measures. The primary goal of ISO 26262, though, is to provide a unifying safety standard for all automotive E/E systems, such as increasingly complex ADAS and by-wire systems.

Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL)

While ISO 26262 is practically ubiquitous, the ASIL rating system for functional safety is lesser known, but monumentally important to its compliance. The fundamental purpose of ASIL is to ask, “If a failure arises, what will happen to the driver and associated road users?” To accurately estimate risk, ASIL combines possible exposure, driver controllability and severity of failure to arrive at an A, B, C or D rating. All subsequent safety critical processes and testing regulations will depend on this ASIL rating (with D requiring the strictest standards). In this way, ASIL ensures safety by defining system behavior.    

Production Part Approval Process (PPAP)

Beyond ISO 26262, there’s PPAP – the backbone of Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) – to ensure that any component essential to your application will meet your specifications. When the margin of error is so small, you’ll need to be next to certain that a supplier can meet your requirements for product consistency, especially at your desired rate of production. The overall objective of PPAP protocol is to reduce the risk of failure and, in turn, help you create more reliable vehicles.

International Material Data System (IMDS)

Another means of helping original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers meet the industry standards set on them is the IMDS. This material data system – originally developed by Audi, BMW, Daimler, HPE, Ford, Opel, Porsche, VW and Volvo – collects, maintains, analyzes and archives all materials used in automotive manufacturing. Many other global OEMs are joining the founders, helping position IMDS as a global standard.

Failure analysis request

In the event of a defective part, failure analysis requests are an additional protocol to enhance safety. This measure is taken to diagnose the cause of a failure and take necessary steps to prevent it from reoccurring. Once a quality issue arises and a claim is received, an investigation into root causes will be conducted, corrective actions will be developed and validated, preventative actions will be generated and an 8D (eight disciplines) report will be issued after corrective actions have been proven effective. This procedure aims to streamline production and minimize future incident, all contributing to increased transportation safety.

When human lives hinge on a product’s success or failure, it’s of the utmost importance that we get it right. That’s precisely why strong end-to-end partners go to such lengths to help you ensure that your designs, applications and, ultimately, the products in which they’re used are checked and double checked.

See how Avnet’s ecosystem can help you invent innovative—and safe—transportation applications.

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