research about system safety

In engineering projects, there are usually many ways to accomplish the same task. A “standard” is a set of guidelines for how to implement a particular task that has been agreed upon by a broad set of engineers across multiple organizations within a field. The use of standards allows different organizations to create parts, devices, and systems which interoperate with one another, and allows engineers and technicians from many different backgrounds to talk about technical problems using the same language.

Standards are might be created by created by an industry consortium (e.g., the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) creates standards for cellular communications), a professional society such as the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) or Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE), or a government agency (e.g., the National Institute of Standards & Technology creates many standards related to cybersecurity). They are usually developed over the course of years by committees of engineers and professionals representing a broad cross-section of effected industry.

Standard will often have to be updated with new versions because of evolving technologies. Updates to standards are also created by committees with broad representation. There is great incentive for newer versions of standards to be backwards compatible, that is to allow for new products to have additional features while ensuring that older products without those new features can still inter-operate with the newer products. Sometimes the hardest decisions made by standards committees is determining whether a new technology provides enough advantages to break with backward compatibility. You see this with the IEEE 802.11x family of standards (Wi-Fi), which allow for backwards compatibility in many but not all generations.

Note that tools or software (such as Matlab or GitHub) that are widely used are not “standards” in themselves.

For this assignment, I would like for you to write about the standards that you use in your work for the EcoCar project. One of the those standards is used by all of us: SAE J3016, the complete version of which is given at:

For this assignment, we are asking that you research and report on SAE J3016 AND AT LEAST ONE OTHER STANDARD that is related to your work for the EcoCar project. Each of the subteams is working in areas which there are standards. For example, if your work involves the CAN bus, that is defined by ‎SAE J1939. There are other standards for electrical wiring, for safety, for software design and verification.

For your report I would like for you to:

  • Cite the standard you are using
  • Briefly explain what that standard covers
  • Explain how the standard is applied to your work for EcoCar.

I would expect most papers would be 2-3 pages in length.