Static Analysis & Coding Standards Compliance for Autonomous Driving Software

April 08, 2020 // By Ijaz Sarwar, Aurora Innovation, Inc.
Static Analysis & Coding Standards Compliance for Autonomous Driving Software
Writing code for complex functionality like autonomous driving requires large teams of talented individuals, who very often have their own views about how to ensure high quality code. But it isn’t so easy to build an efficient software development process that includes quality initiatives such as static analysis and coding standards compliance, that will enable the successful certification of the autonomous car.

Autonomous driving is a very competitive space, and developer velocity is a mantra. Whoever can first bring a certified product to market will have a significant advantage over the competition, and so it’s easy for developers to view static analysis and other quality initiatives as an obstacle. Especially because the field of autonomous driving is hungry for talent, organizations are hiring smart developers, even if they don’t have any background in safety. But developers that come from a background without a functional-safety culture are not aware of all of the quality processes that are required for safety-critical software development. This can make cultural buy-in a challenge.

Getting Internal Buy-In

Sometimes it feels like building internal consensus for quality-oriented practices requires a masters degree in Psychology, or the skills of a trained negotiator… In past projects, i.e. for Parasoft, I’ve been responsible for introducing static analysis and AUTOSAR C++ 14 coding standards compliance as a sustainable process. Autonomous driving software is very innovative, and software components that are used for it are developed using modern C++. With that in mind, the AUTOSAR C++ 14 coding standard is the most appropriate standard for autonomous driving software because it supports modern C++ and was created for safety-oriented development.  

Parasoft C/C++test offers special reporting of conformity with guidelines which includes dedicated reporting and automatically produces the documentation needed (source: Parasoft).  

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