Functional safety for road vehicles - ISO 26262

ISO 26262 covers the electric and electronic systems of automotive products and ensures the design and build of functionally safe vehicles and efficient safety management through the supply chain.

Vehicle manufacturers use compliance to ISO 26262 as a means to qualify components and potential suppliers of electric and electronic (E/E) components.

ISO 26262:2018 second edition, published in December 2018, extended the scope from passenger cars to all road vehicles except mopeds.

Technical requirements

Modern vehicles are highly dependent on well-functioning on-board computers, sensors, actuators, and networks. It is in the vehicle’s E/E system most of the future innovations will take place especially as the automotive industry moves towards a future with autonomous vehicles and intelligent transportation systems. At the same time this complex area leads also to an exposure of risk with regards to functional safety. 

ISO 26262 is a multipart standard defining requirements and providing guidelines for achieving functional safety in E/E systems installed in road vehicles. The standard defines a functional safety lifecycle which starts with a Hazard and Safety Analysis. From this analysis the level of risk reduction needed for avoiding an unreasonable residual risk is deduced and this is defined as the Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL).

The ASIL defines the needed measures when developing safety mechanisms at the system, hardware and software level. ASIL D represents the most stringent level and ASIL A the least stringent level. The ISO 26262 standard also defines the requirements on the management system, the need for planning in the functional safety lifecycle and on the supporting processes such as requirements management, configuration management and change management.


Implementing ISO 26262 ensures that a high level of safety is built into the vehicle and its components at the initial stages. The standard can be used to establish a safety management system based on internationally recognized best practices and the latest approach to risk management.

Related standards

ISO 26262 Road Vehicles Functional Safety is the adaptation of IEC 61508 for the automotive industry. It defines what is required to avoid unreasonable risk due to hazards caused by malfunctioning behavior of E/E systems. 

Our offering

DNV offers a full scope of evaluation, testing and certification services to help companies working to adopt the ISO 26262 standard.

Our services include:

  • Gap analysis and readiness review.
  • Process & technology Improvement.
  • Training - from short introductory e-learning courses to five-day courses including courses for auditors and assessors.
  • Functional safety assessment and certification.

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