Prevent Automotive Software Bugs with Static Analysis

We all knows that automotive software is becoming increasingly complex. It’s gotten to the point that high-end cars not only have more code than jet fighter aircraft, but a LOT more code – in some cases as much as 100 million lines of code. Given that the automobile is a complex creation with lots of smart parts talking on multiple buses, trying to ensure that it’s bug-free is a frustrating and difficult task.

Bug in code

Bug in code

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge proponent of software-development-as-engineering. This means that instead of simply chasing bugs and trying to test quality into a product, we change the way we build software and start by producing code that is less susceptible to bugs. Static analysis is the way to do this. For several years now a few vendors have been pushing the idea that static analysis is only for finding bugs, but it’s real power is in prevention. If you want your car to not have serious problems when it rolls out the door, static is your best friend.

Last week Adam Trujillo and I wrote an article in Embedded Computing Design detailing three simple static analysis rules to get you a jump-start into producing better automotive software. As it turns out there are a few MISRA rules that end up preventing a large number of very common and potentially dangerous problems such as buffer overflow.

It’s a short article but very practical. Give it a read and if you want to know more, be sure to let us know.

For more info check out these books:

Automotive Software Engineering: Principles, Processes, Methods, and Tools

Formal Techniques for Safety-Critical Systems

Effective Modern C++: 42 Specific Ways to Improve Your Use of C++11 and C++14

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