Elektrobit Unveils World's First Open Source Automotive Safety-Compliant Linux Distro


EB corbos Linux for Safety Applications: Paving the Way for Software-Defined Vehicles

The automotive industry is undergoing a significant transformation as it moves towards software-defined vehicles (SDVs). Leading the charge is Elektrobit, an automotive electronics supplier that has recently introduced the world's first open source operating system compliant with the automotive industry's stringent functional safety requirements.

As cars become increasingly complex, with over 200 discrete controllers communicating through a CAN bus network, the need for a more streamlined approach has become apparent. SDVs aim to simplify this by using a small number of domain controllers, each responsible for a specific set of functions such as vehicle dynamics, driver assistance, infotainment, and convenience features.

However, the safety-critical nature of some of these domains necessitates the use of operating systems that meet the ISO 26262 ASIL certification. Enter Elektrobit's EB corbos Linux for Safety Applications, a Linux distro that has recently received approval from the German organization TÜV Nord, making it compliant with both ISO 26262 and IEC 61508 standards for safety applications.

Moritz Neukirchner, a senior director at Elektrobit overseeing SDVs, explained that the key to their approach is an external safety monitor running in a hypervisor, which intercepts and validates kernel actions. This allows Linux to be taken out of the certification path, enabling the distro to keep pace with the developer community without compromising safety.

The importance of this cannot be overstated, as the automotive industry faces the challenge of keeping up with the rapid pace of innovation in open source communities like Linux while ensuring compliance with increasingly stringent safety and cybersecurity regulations. With roughly 4,000 kernel security patches for Linux expected within the next eight years, EB corbos Linux for Safety Applications is well-positioned to meet this challenge head-on.

Developed in collaboration with Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, EB corbos Linux for Safety Applications represents a significant step forward in the development of SDVs. As the automotive industry continues to evolve, it is clear that open source solutions like this will play an increasingly important role in shaping the future of transportation.