High-Voltage Watchdog Timers Enhance Automotive System Safety

By: Robert Regensburger

Abstract: As electronic systems take over many of the mechanical functions in a car—ranging from engine timing to steering and braking—there is a growing concern about fault tolerance. There should not be a single point of failure that would prevent a car from at least \"limping\" off the road or making it to the nearest service station. Redundant systems, watchdog timers, and other control circuits are used to reroute signals and perform other functions that ensure that a vehicle can safely make it off the road when a failure occurs.