Our Competence: Safety

Functional safety, Safety of the intended Functionality (SotiF ISO 21448), innovative safety concepts, and more

The assurance of functional safety is a mandatory requirement for bringing safety-critical embedded systems to market. Especially in highly innovative applications such as autonomous driving or 4.0, safety engineers are confronted with system complexity, the uncertainties and unknowns of a multitude of operating environments, and technological change (e.g., through the use of Artificial Intelligence). For many years, Fraunhofer IESE has been researching systematic and model-based safety engineering methods in order to develop robust safety cases for innovative systems effectively and efficiently.


How Fraunhofer IESE can support you in the safety assurance of your systems

We support our customers in all issues related to functional safety and safety engineering in a wide variety of industries, such as automotive (ISO 26262, ISO 21448), agriculture (ISO 25119), and Industrie 4.0 (incl. ISO 12100, IEC 61508, ISO 13849).

In particular, we provide support through consulting, monitoring, and implementation of product development regarding

  • implementation of the requirements of standards in customer-specific contexts
  • introduction of concrete techniques and methods (e.g., fault trees/Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), Component Fault Trees (CFTs), or the Goal Structuring Notation (GSN))
  • introduction and, if necessary, customization of appropriate tooling (e.g., based on our in-house safety engineering tool safeTbox)

In addition to transferring our expertise, we are also happy to provide the following services:

  • Appropriate risk and safety analyses
  • Development of comprehensive safety concepts 
  • Other safety engineering activities for your specific product

With Fraunhofer you will encounter great acceptance in the certification process

We are familiar with the major safety standards (esp. IEC 61508 and its domain-specific derivations such as ISO 26262, ISO 25119, or ISO 13849) and have extensive experience regarding the assurance of functional safety in different domains and under a wide variety of project constraints. As a Fraunhofer Institute, we are an internationally recognized, independent authority whose solutions are also widely accepted by regulatory authorities.


We help you to manage the risks of future systems

In line with our mission of applied research, we are particularly concerned with safety challenges of future systems. Ever higher levels of automation combined with ever greater interconnection and the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence – all these aspects lead to uncertainties and unknowns, which are difficult to address on the basis of established techniques, methods, and standards.

Here we offer an innovative solution with our dynamic risk management approach. Systems are enabled to assess risks on their own at runtime and, based on this assessment, to implement those measures that guarantee both an acceptable residual risk and the best possible performance. Since no standards have yet been established for the safety assurance of autonomous systems, in particular, we support our customers with our extensive knowledge on existing standardization activities, in which we also participate ourselves.

Our many years of experience in model-based safety engineering techniques, methods, and tools (safeTbox) will help you to efficiently and effectively assure the safety of your current systems. Our novel research approaches can be the crucial enabler to bring your innovative systems of tomorrow to market with outstanding performance, verifiable safety, and a clear conscience!


You want to know more? Here you can find recordings of our webinars on the topic of “Safety Engineering”

Webinar “Model-based Safety Engineering” (in German)

Webinar“Dynamic Risk Management”(in German)

Webinar “Dependable AI” (in German)

Our focal areas in Safety Engineering


Security for Safety

Safety-critical systems are increasingly interconnected, be it through local networks or even through the Internet. 


safeTbox tool – Increasing efficiency and decreasing fault-proneness

  • Free safeTbox suite for model-based safety and systems engineering
  • Abstraction, modularization, hierarchization and traceability underpinned by adequate tool support

Safety for Autonomous Systems

We are collaborating with our industry partners on the functional safety of autonomous systems in the context of national and international projects as well as bilaterally.


ConSerts: Open, adaptive – and yet safe!

Systems are increasingly interconnected, open, and adaptive. Due to these characteristics, established safety engineering methods can only be used under certain conditions.

ConSerts are a novel approach for the conditional certification of systems, contingent on assumed properties of their environment. These properties are checked at runtime.

Selected projects from the area of Safety


Success Story Bosch

Software replaces
expensive hardware

Flexible software safety architecture for hardware without safety assurance for safety-relevant applications.


Success Story Hitachi

Safety engineering for autonomous driving systems

In a research collaboration, Hitachi and Fraunhofer IESE investigated the necessary scope of future safety engineering


Success Story SICK AG

Digital Twin for safety

Digital Twins belong to the enablers for autonomous systems and enable “Plug&Produce”. For safety, we realize “Plug&Safe”.


Reference Project: Japan Manned Space Systems Corporation (JAMSS)

Control and test procedures for AI systems

Fraunhofer IESE supported JAMSS in assessing the potentials of agility in regulated domains.


Reference Project: ExamAI

Control and testing procedures for AI

In the publicly funded project ExamAI, Fraunhofer IESE is collaborating with an interdisciplinary team to investigate what control and testing procedures for systems with Artificial Intelligence could look like in the areas of industrial production and human resource management.


Reference Project: e.GO Mobile AG

Functional safety for an all-electric passenger car

Fraunhofer IESE supported e.GO Mobile AG in the safety engineering of its electric vehicle e.GO Life.






Reference Project DEIS

Dependability Engineering Innovation for Cyber-Physical Systems

Development of a holistic approach for the safety assurance of cyber-physical systems at development time and at runtime. Key contributions of Fraunhofer IESE include the concept and the tool realization of “Digital Dependability Identities”, dependability-oriented Digital Twins of systems.

(Duration: 01/2017 - 12/2019)


Reference Project SECREDAS

Creation of trustworthy autonomous systems

Methods for the development of components for the creation of trustworthy autonomous systems.

(Duration: 05/2018 – 04/2021)


Reference Project V&V Methods

Verification & Validation for highly automated driving functions

Development of a methodological approach for the safety case of highly automated and autonomous vehicles (SAE level 4/5) for homologation in urban environments. The project is part of the VDA lead initiative “Interconnected and Automated Driving”. 

(Duration: 07/2019-06/2023)


Model-based safety, security and systems engineering with safeTbox

  • Velasco Moncada, D.S. Hazard-driven realization views for Component Fault Trees. Softw Syst Model (2020).
  • Velasco Moncada, D.S., Reich, J., Tchangou, M.: Interactive information zoom on component fault trees. In: Schaefer, I., Karagiannis, D., Vogelsang, A.,Méndez, D., Seidl, C. (eds.) Modellierung 2018, pp. 311–314. Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V, Bonn (2018)
  • S. Velasco, Towards proper tool support for component-oriented and model-based development of safety critical systems, Proceedings of the 4th Commercial Vehicle Technology Symposium, Kaiserslautern, Germany, CVT 2016.
  • M. Kaessmeyer, S. Velasco, M. Schurius, Evaluation of a systematic approach in variant management for safety-critical systems development, Proceedings of the International Conference on Embedded and Ubiquitous Computing, Porto, Portugal, EUC 2015.
  • P. Antonino, S. Velasco, M. Trapp M., J. Reich. iSaFe: An integrated Safety Engineering Tool-Framework. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Dependable Control of Discrete Systems, Cancun, Mexico, 2015.Kaiser, B., Schneider, D., Adler, R., Domis, D., Möhrle, F., Berres, A., ... & Rothfelder, M. (2018, June). Advances in component fault trees. In Proc. of ESREL.
  • Martin, H., Ma, Z., Schmittner, C., Winkler, B., Krammer, M., Schneider, D., ... & Kreiner, C. (2020). Combined Automotive Safety and Security Pattern Engineering Approach. Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 106773.
  • Schneider, D., Trapp, M., Dörr, J., Dukanovic, S., Henkel, T., Khondoker, R., ... & Zelle, D. (2017). Umfassende Sicherheit. Informatik-Spektrum, 40(5), 419-429.


Safety for open, adaptive, and collaborative autonomous systems

  • Schneider, D., & Trapp, M. (2013). Conditional safety certification of open adaptive systems. ACM Transactions on Autonomous and Adaptive Systems (TAAS), 8(2), 1-20
  • Feth, Patrik (2020): Dynamic Behavior Risk Assessment for Autonomous Systems. Dissertation. Technical University Kaiserslautern, Germany 
  • Cheng, B. H., Eder, K. I., Gogolla, M., Grunske, L., Litoiu, M., Müller, H. A., ... Schneider, D. (2014). Using models at runtime to address assurance for self-adaptive systems. In Models@ run. time (pp. 101-136). Springer, Cham.
  • Schneider, D., Trapp, M., Papadopoulos, Y., Armengaud, E., Zeller, M., & Höfig, K. (2015, November). WAP: digital dependability identities. In 2015 IEEE 26th International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering (ISSRE) (pp. 324-329). IEEE. 
  • Trapp, M., Schneider, D., & Weiss, G. (2018, September). Towards safety-awareness and dynamic safety management. In 2018 14th European Dependable Computing Conference (EDCC) (pp. 107-111). IEEE
  • Schneider, D., Trapp, M. (2018). B-space: dynamic management and assurance of open systems of systems. Journal of Internet Services and Applications, 9(1), 1-16
  • Adler, R., Akram, M. N., Feth, P., Fukuda, T., Ishigooka, T., Otsuka, S., ..., Yoshimura, K. (2019, October). Engineering and Hardening of Functional Fail-Operational Architectures for Highly Automated Driving. In 2019 IEEE International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering Workshops (ISSREW) (pp. 30-35). IEEE
  • Feth, P., Adler, R., Fukuda, T., Ishigooka, T.,Otsuka, S., Schneider, D., ... Yoshimura, K. (2018, September). Multi-aspect safety engineering for highly automated driving. In International Conference on Computer Safety, Reliability, and Security (pp. 59-72). Springer, Cham
  • Reich, Jan; Zeller, Marc; Schneider, Daniel (2019): Automated Evidence Analysis of Safety Arguments Using Digital Dependability Identities. In Romanovsky, Birukou (Eds.): Computer Safety, Reliability, and Security, vol. 11698. 1st ed. [Place of publication not identified]: Springer International Publishing (Lecture Notes in Computer Science), pp. 254–268. 
  • Ran Wei, Jan Reich, Tim Kelly, Simos Gerasimou (2018): On the Transition from Design Time to Runtime Model-Based Assurance Cases. In: Proceedings of 13th International Workshop on Models@run.time at 21st International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (MODELS). Copenhagen, Denmark. 
  • Jan Reich, Daniel Schneider (2018): Towards (Semi-)Automated Synthesis of Runtime Safety Models: A Safety-Oriented Design Approach for Service Architectures of Cooperative Autonomous Systems. In: Proceedings of 13th International ERCIM/EWICS/ARTEMIS Workshop on "Dependable Smart Embedded and Cyber-physical Systems and Systems-of-Systems" - DECSoS @ SafeCOMP. Västerås, Sweden.