Another method has safety engineers designing systems with built-in safety margins. For example, many factories continuously monitor various parameters of their production lines. A detected fault initiates an emergency shutdown that stops the given machine and restores the plant to a safe state. But not every fault warrants a total shutdown, which is why the Fraunhofer IKS is investigating adaptive safety mechanisms. The idea is for engineers to define different escalation levels at which safety mechanisms are actuated. This way, the safeguard would only shut down a specific area of a production line or slow down an autonomous system for it to continue operating at reduced or minimized capacity.
An emergency shutdown is not necessarily going to return an autonomous car to a safe state. Cases like this require more extensive safeguards. To this end, the Fraunhofer IKS is also looking into cost-effective ways of enabling fail-operational behavior for every contingency.