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What Risks might be involved on the road of being Hamlet’s ally?

  • May 19, 2019 |

    It is hard to imagine a world without Shakespeare. In Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark”, the action we expect to see from Hamlet himself is continually postponed. Hamlet tries to obtain more certain knowledge about what he is doing although absolute certainty is impossible. Hamlet, a tragic hero, demonstrates his tragic flaw in his "indecision." Like an engineering project, literature often confronts contradiction, uncertainty, and Risk. Let’s evaluate the Risks being involved on the road of being Hamlet’s ally by Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL).

    Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL)

    According to the Motor vehicle safety data, by the BTS (Bureau of Transportation Statistics), more than 6 million crashes involving motor vehicles are reported every year on an average. Automotive Safety Integrity Level (ASIL) is a risk classification scheme defined by the ISO 26262 - Functional Safety for Road Vehicles standard. This is an adaptation of the Safety Integrity Level used in IEC 61508 for the automotive industry. This classification helps defining the safety requirements necessary to be in line with the ISO 26262 standard. The ASIL is established by performing a risk analysis of a potential hazard by looking at the Severity, Exposure and Controllability of the vehicle operating scenario. The safety goal for that hazard in turn carries the ASIL requirements.

    Given a malfunction of a defined function at the vehicle level (e.g., an anti-lock braking system), a hazard and risk analysis follows to determine the risk of harm/injury to people and of damage to property. There are four ASILs identified by the standard: ASIL A, ASIL B, ASIL C, ASIL D. ASIL D dictates the highest integrity requirements on the product and ASIL A the lowest. Hazards that are identified as QM do not dictate any safety requirements.

    • Systems like airbags, anti-lock brakes, and power steering require an ASIL-D grade―the highest rigor applied to safety assurance―because the risks associated with their failure are the highest.

    • Head lights and brake lights generally would be ASIL-B

    • Cruise control would generally be ASIL-C.

    • Components like rear lights require only an ASIL-A grade.

    For ISO 26262, the risk analysis is based on the exposure, severity, and controllability of the hazard and the resulting risk, and determines the ASIL, i.e., the level of risk reduction needed to achieve a tolerable risk. For example, let us consider a windshield wiper system. The safety analysis will determine the effects that loss of wiper function can have on the visibility of the driver. The ASIL gives guidance for choosing the adequate methods for reaching a certain level of integrity of the product. This guidance is meant to complement current safety practices. Current automobiles are manufactured at a high safety level and ISO 26262 is meant to standardize certain practices throughout the industry.

    The Plot of Hamlet

    The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, often shortened to Hamlet, is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare sometime between 1599 and 1602. Set in Denmark, the play depicts Prince Hamlet and his revenge against his uncle, Claudius, who has murdered Hamlet's father in order to seize his throne and marry Hamlet's mother.

    Events before the start of Hamlet set the stage for tragedy. When the king of Denmark, Prince Hamlet's father, suddenly dies, Hamlet's mother, Gertrude, marries his uncle Claudius, who becomes the new king.

    A spirit who claims to be the ghost of Hamlet's father describes his murder at the hands of Claudius and demands that Hamlet avenge the killing. When the councilor Polonius learns from his daughter, Ophelia, that Hamlet has visited her in an apparently distracted state, Polonius attributes the prince's condition to lovesickness, and he sets a trap for Hamlet using Ophelia as bait.

     To confirm Claudius's guilt, Hamlet arranges for a play that mimics the murder; Claudius’s reaction is that of a guilty man. Hamlet, now free to act, mistakenly kills Polonius, thinking he is Claudius. Claudius sends Hamlet away as part of a deadly plot.

    After Polonius's death, Ophelia goes mad and later drowns. Hamlet, who has returned safely to confront the king, agrees to a fencing match with Ophelia’s brother, Laertes, who secretly poisons his own rapier. At the match, Claudius prepares poisoned wine for Hamlet, which Gertrude unknowingly drinks; as she dies, she accuses Claudius, whom Hamlet kills. Then first Laertes and then Hamlet die, both victims of Laertes's rapier.

    What ASIL might be involved on the road of being Hamlet’s ally?

    Hamlet is undoubtedly an engaging and fascinating person. He is a witty, highly intelligent young man with an offbeat sense of humor. He's definitely someone you could imagine hanging out with. But as Hamlet is such a complicated character, there are downsides to getting too close to him. For one thing, he appears to be mad, or at the very least, pretending to be. This means that you're never quite sure where you stand with...

    To answer the question:

    • What ASIL might be involved on the road of being Hamlet’s ally?

    We need to look at the Severity, Exposure and Controllability, three elements of risk on the road of being Hamlet's ally. Hamlet is positive that Claudius killed his father and that his mother is somehow complicit. He will risk doing the 'wrong' thing if it means easing his grief & psychological suffering. He will not rest until he proves this and avenges his father's murder. However, Claudius is the king, and he is very powerful. How would you answers the question

    • What are the Severity, Exposure and Controllability, three elements of risk on the road of being Hamlet's ally?

    Risk assessment is the focus of “Industrial Design Engineering: Inventive Problem Solving”.

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    Engineering - General, Engineering - Industrial & Manufacturing