Advanced development engines are one-of-a-kind and expensive and generally have few, if any, spare parts available. These engines are particularly vulnerable to damage during control and calibration development due to unintended control actions from newly-generated algorithms, errant operator control commands, or lack of understanding of control limits for safe operation. Engine damage can result in significant program delays and expenses.Delphi is developing control systems and calibrations for the vehicle implementation of an experimental engine concept which incorporates a new high efficiency combustion process. Many of the algorithms within the control structure are new and untested, and therefore represent significant risk to these engines. The large amount of data displayed on computer test control screens makes human monitoring of all parameters nearly impossible, especially when display windows are layered on top of one another. Operator reaction time may also be insufficient to prevent engine damage once a problem occurs.This paper outlines the implementation of an innovative, system-wide watchdog controller and other associated safety systems to a production-capable engine control system. This watchdog has been applied to a vehicle-intent real-time control system on a Delphi stand-alone engine start cart. The watchdog controller continuously monitors a number of critical engine parameters and provides warnings or takes action when necessary to shut down the engine to avoid damage or operator safety risks. This paper also discusses performance of the system and its application on a Delphi development vehicle.