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    An industry webinar designed to explore the relationship between functional safety and cybersecurity has focused on the vital role both will play in driving new developments and meeting emerging regulatory standards in the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) arena.

    In the latest of its series of free online industry seminars, the MIRA Technology Institute welcomed over 100 attendees with questions for Dr David Ward, Senior Technical Manager for Functional Safety at HORIBA MIRA, and Visiting Professor of Functional Safety at Coventry University as he outlined the latest emerging wisdom on Safety of The Intended Functionality (SOTIF), cybersecurity and how new legislation might impact on their development.

    Dr David Ward explained how the dual vehicle attributes of functional safety and cybersecurity were vital elements in the development of CAV technology and the requirement to consider how they operate in tandem ahead of new regulations on cybersecurity, software update and advanced lane keep assist due to come into force in January 2021.

    David said, “There are many dimensions to protecting vehicle electrical and electronic systems from causing malfunctioning behaviour whether as a result of system or design faults, or as a result of a malicious attack. This discipline is becoming ever more complex as the pace of technological development increases. The issues that underpin functional safety and cybersecurity are critical and a combined approach to tackling them is becoming ever more essential.”

    David went on to say that CAV technology such as Automated Lane Keeping Systems (ALKS), adaptive cruise control, traffic jam pilots and collision avoidance systems should be considered as part of ‘a connected cyber-physical eco system’ in which risks are assessed to reduce malfunctioning behaviour and keep drivers and pedestrians safe.

    Dr David Ward is a recognised international expert in automotive functional safety with over 25 years’ experience in safety and reliability of embedded electronic systems in automotive and other industries. Within his role at HORIBA MIRA, David is responsible for training, consultancy and independent safety assessment in the functional safety standard ISO 26262 and other related standards. He is involved in automotive cybersecurity as well as technology development in functional safety, connected and autonomous vehicles, and vehicle electrification.

    The webinar was designed especially for industry professionals within the global automotive sector, including those responsible for skills and training, and graduates keen to broaden their knowledge. A recording of the webinar is now available via the MTI website.

    Lisa Bingley, MTI Director of Operations said, “I would like thank Dr David Ward for leading this fascinating session which is part of our seminar series on cutting-edge insights on a range of topical industry issues and we hope it proved valuable to those who attended.

    “We work very closely with our industry partner, HORIBA MIRA, which enables us to remain in tune with the skills needs of the automotive industry and we are able to adapt our offer with agility to address the latest developments particularly in the field of electric vehicles and CAV technology. The MTI already offers courses at various levels in functional safety, cybersecurity and CAV technology and course start dates are published on the MTI website.”

    The MTI is the result of a unique collaboration led by North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, and its partners, HORIBA MIRA, Coventry University, the University of Leicester, and Loughborough University. Built with £9.5m investment from the UK Government’s Local Growth Fund via the Leicester and Leicester Enterprise Partnership Limited (LLEP), the MTI is a specialist facility designed specifically to train the next generation of engineers in the latest automotive technology.

    Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Chair of the MTI Operations Board, and Principal and Chief Executive North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College said, “It has been a pleasure to welcome such a high profile and knowledgeable speaker to our seminar programme and we are grateful to Dr David Ward for his time in sharing such a range of valuable insights.”

    For more details on the latest seminar and to book your place please call 02476 935680 or email

    Watch the Functional Safety Meets Cybersecurity Event here.