Victor Haydin
Blog post

A Farewell to the Current Automotive Certifications

Autonomous driving will bring changes to certifications for the automotive industry - a fact OEMs and Tier 1 companies can’t ignore

June 25, 2018

6 mins read

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Every auto manufacturer knows that automotive certifications matter. Before hitting the market, every vehicle goes through testing and certification, and to be successfully approved, each of them has to comply with modern technical standards. Without the automotive industry standards, which ensure vehicle safety, performance and quality, our roads would turn into chaos.

The automotive industry has always been subjected to regulations and standards. Modern certifications, however, only slightly remind us of their successors because they changed and developed just as the vehicles did.

Today, more and more automotive companies are following the autonomous trend. By 2020, 10 million self-driving cars will be on the roads. Astonishing, isn’t it? But the mass production of driverless cars raises many questions. It’s already changing everything we know about driving. Will automotive standards and certifications change too?

Thanks to years of experience in building software for the automotive industry, Intellias gives you an overview of the most vital certifications for the automotive industry. Read on to learn about automotive certifications and how they can change with self-driving cars hit the road.

Certifications for the automotive industry ensure vehicles’ quality and safety

A Farewell to the Current Automotive Certifications

Receiving an automotive certification means that the vehicle, its parts and systems, correspond to the international automotive standards. Those standards contain guidelines and requirements for design, development and production of the vehicles. Getting certified against them shows that the car and its components are safe for both the passengers and the environment. Beyond that, automotive certifications ensure that the vehicle corresponds to its specifications and works flawlessly.

The automotive certifications list is endless because there are many different assessment and certification systems. ISO, IAFT, and AUTOSAR are just some of the organizations that develop automotive standards, some of which can be used simultaneously. The most popular automotive certifications involve ISO 2626, ISO 14229, ISO 15031, AUTOSAR and SPICE standards.

Read more: Learn how Intellias helped an EU-based auto manufacturer to comply with AUTOSAR, ISO 26262 and SPICE standards

ISO 26262 certification 

ISO 26262 is the “Road vehicles Functional safety” standard. Based on IEC 61508, it is a standard for functional safety of the automotive Electrical and Electronic (e/e) systems. In other words, the standard contains requirements that ensure the safety of the E/E systems installed in the passenger cars. The ISO 26262 regulates both the car’s software and hardware. It contains guidelines on the measuring the automotive safety integrity level (ASIL) of the system’s components to reduce the risk of hazardous events.

ISO 14229 certification 

ISO 14229 is the “Road vehicles Unified diagnostic services (UDS)” standard. It contains requirements for the diagnostic communication protocol in the electronic control unit (ECU) environment. ECUs that can maintain the UDS services include the engine-control unit, anti-lock braking, the transmission and other vehicle’s functions. So far, almost all new ECU’s made by Tier 1 suppliers of Original Equipment Manufacturers comply with the ISO 14229 certification. 

ISO 15031 certification 

ISO 15031 is the “Road vehicles Communication between vehicle and external equipment for emissions-related diagnostics” standard. It contains the requirements for the communication between car’s On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) systems and test equipment for emissions. The automotive certification against ISO 15031 ensures that the implemented OBDs correspond to the emissions regulations.

AUTOSAR certification 

AUTOSAR (automotive software system architecture) certification proves compatibility with AUTOSAR partnership’s standards for the automotive ECU’s software architecture. The standards include requirements on the software modules, application interfaces and the development methodology. For years, AUTOSAR’s most popular standard was its Classic Platform for deeply embedded ECU’s. It focuses on simple ECUs and low-level software.

Automotive SPICE certification 

Automotive SPICE (software process improvement capability determination) is a group of standards that contains requirements for the software and systems development process. The standard helps to perform software capability assessment of the supplier. Automotive SPICE contains a framework for the process reference model and process assessment model.

Following the standard’s guidelines, car manufacturers can evaluate the quality of the software development process conducted by the supplier. And the software supplier, in turn, can efficiently manage the process, successfully deliver it and ensure the quality of the services they provide.

Process assessment model

A Farewell to the Current Automotive Certifications

Source: Automotive SPICE

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Why autonomous cars will bring changes to the current automotive standards

Just like any other vehicles, autonomous cars will have to go through the certification process. Because safety concerns are the major drawback for self-driving cars, certifying the vehicles is a necessity, not an option. The automotive certifications prove that autonomous cars are actually safe and that passengers won’t get into any kind of trouble when they’re inside a self-driving vehicle.

According to Statista, 50% of consumers say that they wouldn’t feel safe inside a self-driving car.

Consumers concerns about self-driving cars

A Farewell to the Current Automotive Certifications

Source: Statista

Self-driving vehicles, however, are much more complex than regular cars both in their hardware and software. That’s why the requirements that already exist for ordinary vehicles don’t usually apply to autonomous cars. Many current standards were released before the development of the self-driving vehicles, which means that they have to be changed.

As soon as autonomous cars provide the safety we are expecting then this will help to prevent a lot of the accidents caused by human errors. If this comes true autonomous driving may become a must.

Professor Dr. h.c. Manfred Broy, Technical University of Munich

How will current automotive certifications change to regulate autonomous cars?

Some of the popular certifications for the automotive industry will change in preparation for the autonomous era. New versions, extensions or brand new standards will be released. This means that new automotive certifications will appear.

Take a look at the current version of ISO 26262, for example. The standard does not take into account the major characteristics of the autonomous driving.

ISO 26262 doesn’t take into account the main features of the autonomous driving.

A Farewell to the Current Automotive Certifications

Today, cars contain much more software than they had back in 2011 when the ISO 26262 standard was developed. That’s why the new edition of ISO 26262 Part II will be released in 2019. Beyond that, to address the advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) hazards, ISO/WD PAS 21448 standard is currently under development. This means that the new automotive certifications for the functional safety of electrical/electronic systems will emerge.

The evaluation made by AUTOSAR showed that the “old” software architecture regulations can’t meet the requirements for the complex algorithms set by connected and autonomous cars. Software for self-driving cars is flexible and dynamic. And the extension of the Classic Platform would not solve the problem. That’s why in 2017 the organization released a new Adaptive Platform standard.

In October 2018, AUTOSAR plans a joint release of Classic, Adaptive and Foundation Platforms that will synchronize the three standards and contain all the necessary requirements for the electrical/electronic architecture.

In November 2017, ASPICE v3.1 was released. It doesn’t differ much from the version 3. And even with the autonomous cars on the roads, Automotive SPICE certification will be relevant. Despite the complexity of the software for autonomous cars, the requirements for the software development process won’t change much. SPICE standard will ensure that the software development process meets the requirements for safety and security.

Certifications will also change autonomous cars on the roads

A Farewell to the Current Automotive Certifications

Original equipment manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers won’t be the only ones who have to comply with the new standards. Changes that the self-driving vehicles bring will affect everyone in the automotive industry and the automotive repair. This means that the certifications for automotive engineers and technicians will change too.

For instance, to become a qualified master automotive technician today, auto mechanics in the USA have to receive an automotive service excellence (ASE) certification. How many automotive ASE certifications are there? Currently, there are nine automobile & light truck certifications.

It’s very likely that with the autonomous era, there will be more certifications for automotive technicians. Also, the tests and requirements for these certifications will probably change. With self-driving vehicles on the roads, technicians will have to show their knowledge of autonomous car repair if they want to receive an ASE certification for automotive.


With the development of the new technologies, certifications for the automotive industry will change. Connectivity and autonomous driving transform both the vehicles and the requirements for them. For OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers, keeping up with the new standards and meeting requirements for them is vital.


If you need embedded software that complies with the automotive certifications, contact Intellias. Our extended team of professional aligns the development process with the current international standards.

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