The Linux Foundation has announced a new open-source project that will provide a shared set of tools designed to help companies build and certify Linux-based safety-critical applications. According to the foundation, Enabling Linux in Safety Applications (ELISA) will make it easy for companies to build systems such as robotic devices, medical devices, smart factories, transportation systems, and autonomous driving using Linux.

The foundation explained safety-critical systems have to meet certain functional safety objectives and companies need to be able to demonstrate that their systems meet those objectives. Before ELISA, there was no clear way for certifying Linux, making it difficult for companies to prove that Linux-based systems meet those requirements.

“All major industries, including energy, medical and automotive, want to use Linux for safety-critical applications because it can enable them to bring products to market faster and reduce the risk of critical design errors. The challenge has been the lack of the clear documentation and tools needed to demonstrate that a Linux-based system meets the necessary safety requirements for certification,” said Kate Stewart, senior director of strategic programs at The Linux Foundation. “Past attempts at solving this have lacked the critical mass needed to establish a widely discussed and accepted methodology, but with the formation of ELISA, we will be able to leverage the infrastructure and support of the broader Linux Foundation community that is needed to make this initiative successful.”

The Linux Foundation will work with certification authorities and standardization bodies on ELISA. ELISA will also “define and maintain a common set of elements, processes and tools that can be incorporated into Linux-based, safety-critical systems amenable to safety certification.”

Other goals of ELISA include developing reference documentation, educating the open source community on safety engineering best practices, enabling continuous feedback from the community, and providing incident and hazard monitoring for critical components.

The founding members of ELISA include Arm, BMW Car IT GmbH, KUKA, Linutronix and Toyota.