European Product Liability Laws require manufactures to prove that their products are safe and free from unacceptable risk. As testing can never be comprehensive, confirmation measures focus on proofing the use of ‘State of the Art’ development processes and methods from concept phase to product decommissioning also known as 'Safety Life Cycle'.
The company and its engineers are responsible for providing evidence that a product was development according to the best general practices known to date. Together IEC 61508 and the future ISO 26262 standard, targeted specifically at the automotive industry, define what will be judged relevant in assessing product liability cases.
The goal of Functional Safety is to reduce harm/damage to the users and occupants of vehicles, other traffic participants and other endangered/exposed persons. While risk can never fully be eliminated, the standard focuses on tolerable risk which is accepted in a given context based on the current values of society, and safety which is the freedom from unacceptable risk.
Mature Process CapabilityFunctional Safety is much more than just a set of documentation requirements. A structured process foundation such as provided by CMMI or Automotive SPICE is strongly linked to overall Functional Safety compliance.
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