Recommendations

The PNGV program, though extremely ambitious, provides a unique opportunity to bring together and use the specific and unique skills and technologies of government and industry in the best interest of the American public. If the PNGV program comes close to meeting its technological, cost, and timing goals, it could launch the automotive industry in a new era of competitive achievement, resulting in substantial improvements in the quality of life for all Americans.

The committee is cognizant of the enormously challenging PNGV program goals, requirements, and schedules. However, from the information presented to the committee, there is no indication at the present time that the goals, requirements, and schedules cannot be met or closely approached, provided that well-managed and adequate resources are devoted to the program in a timely manner by the government and USCAR, including resources from universities and suppliers to the automotive industry.

If the Clinton administration intends to bring the PNGV R&D program as presently envisioned to a successful conclusion, the committee recommends that the program be sufficiently supported and pursued with urgency as a national goal. This section provides specific PNGV program recommendations, which, in the view of the committee, require immediate attention and resolution.

PROGRAM MANAGEMENT

A model program like the PNGV, jointly supported by government interagency and industry intercompany activities and resources, requires an extraordinary degree of program management if these joint resources are to be used economically and effectively to achieve the aims of the program. Manufacturing interests must be adequately represented on the program management teams in order to meet program goals.

An integral part of an effective program management structure is the existence of well-defined plans, schedules, and achievement milestones. Collective agreements by all participants in the PNGV are required to provide resources and produce outputs in a timely and effective manner.

All three phases of the PNGV program have inadequately defined and staffed program management structures in both government and industry organizations. This situation may contribute to the absence of specific program plans essential to the success of the program. The lack of adequate program management and the absence



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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES Recommendations The PNGV program, though extremely ambitious, provides a unique opportunity to bring together and use the specific and unique skills and technologies of government and industry in the best interest of the American public. If the PNGV program comes close to meeting its technological, cost, and timing goals, it could launch the automotive industry in a new era of competitive achievement, resulting in substantial improvements in the quality of life for all Americans. The committee is cognizant of the enormously challenging PNGV program goals, requirements, and schedules. However, from the information presented to the committee, there is no indication at the present time that the goals, requirements, and schedules cannot be met or closely approached, provided that well-managed and adequate resources are devoted to the program in a timely manner by the government and USCAR, including resources from universities and suppliers to the automotive industry. If the Clinton administration intends to bring the PNGV R&D program as presently envisioned to a successful conclusion, the committee recommends that the program be sufficiently supported and pursued with urgency as a national goal. This section provides specific PNGV program recommendations, which, in the view of the committee, require immediate attention and resolution. PROGRAM MANAGEMENT A model program like the PNGV, jointly supported by government interagency and industry intercompany activities and resources, requires an extraordinary degree of program management if these joint resources are to be used economically and effectively to achieve the aims of the program. Manufacturing interests must be adequately represented on the program management teams in order to meet program goals. An integral part of an effective program management structure is the existence of well-defined plans, schedules, and achievement milestones. Collective agreements by all participants in the PNGV are required to provide resources and produce outputs in a timely and effective manner. All three phases of the PNGV program have inadequately defined and staffed program management structures in both government and industry organizations. This situation may contribute to the absence of specific program plans essential to the success of the program. The lack of adequate program management and the absence

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES of specific program plans makes it virtually impossible to manage and evaluate the application and effectiveness of program resources. In the interest of maintaining the viability of the PNGV program, the committee strongly recommends that the government and industry partners correct these program deficiencies at the earliest possible time. The government, in particular, needs to have a strong and effective central program management office to coordinate the efforts of the many federal departments, agencies, and national laboratories involved in the PNGV program. The committee also recommends the appointment of a technical director of an integrated platform development team at USCAR (see page 34 for further discussion on this issue). GOVERNMENT FUNDING AND SUPPORT Up to fiscal year 1996, government support for the program is provided within the context of existing budget levels (“level funding”). This type of transition support makes it very difficult to effect required resource reallocation within the government for the PNGV program. The Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have not provided the PNGV program with a level of support consistent with their technology base. This situation should be corrected as soon as possible in order to avoid duplication of effort and to surface potentially valuable technologies of importance to the success of the PNGV program. The committee believes it is essential that, starting with fiscal year 1996, the government funding of all major and critical elements of the PNGV program be a line-item budget for which oversight responsibility is vested in the government’s PNGV program manager. The central control of the PNGV single budget should cut across the government organizations involved in the program. NATIONAL COMMITMENT A national goal of public importance, with significant investment levels and a decade-long schedule, such as the PNGV, requires a highly visible and dynamic program to create and maintain a national commitment. The public policy makers, media, and public interest community will each have an important role to play in helping the PNGV achieve its goals. The committee recommends that the PNGV’s public affairs groups be adequately supported to perform this important function. This office should commit resources to involving the public in the program, cultivating broad-based support within the policy-making community and taking every opportunity to showcase PNGV achievements for the media.

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES INTEGRATED PLATFORM DEVELOPMENT TEAM The collection, analysis, and utilization of a vast and diverse quantity of vehicle cost and technology information can be effectively optimized only through a total systems approach to the objectives of the PNGV program. The ultimate successful manifestation of these data will be the concept vehicle definition in 1997, the production prototype vehicle definition in 2000, and the construction of the concept vehicle and production prototype vehicle in 2000 and 2004, respectively. Though both government and industry partners fully embrace a total systems approach, the results cannot be fully optimized and understood in the absence of an integrated platform development team located at USCAR and headed by a USCAR technical director. USCAR has not embraced the need for an integrated platform development team for the PNGV; and hence, the committee strongly recommends an early review and reevaluation by USCAR of this proposed need. TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY Some material and powertrain technologies have very attractive future potential applications for automobiles but not in the time frame of the PNGV program. The committee recommends that an analysis be made at this point to divide all technologies related to Goal 3 into two categories: (1) current PNGV and (2) post-PNGV technologies. Current PNGV technologies would include all technologies that have a high probability of demonstrating PNGV system applicability and performance by 1997. Post-PNGV technologies would have high probability of meeting PNGV goals, but not within the current time frame. This categorization could accelerate the post-PNGV technology developments, since those programs would not have to respond to vehicle-specific considerations at this time. Likewise, the current PNGV technologies would also be accelerated, because earlier and quicker decisions could be made on a shorter list of candidates. The committee recommends that technologies that do not meet PNGV program objectives by 1997 but that have high long-term potential be funded and continued in development for post-PNGV applications. SUPPLIER AND UNIVERSITY INVOLVEMENT Substantial innovative resources that have the potential to be most helpful to the overall success of the PNGV program exist within the supplier and university communities. The committee recommends that the PNGV workshop structure be quickly expanded to more effectively involve these constituents and to provide them with a link to the PNGV program.

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES FOREIGN TECHNOLOGY Substantial automotive-related leading-edge technologies are being investigated and developed worldwide by non-U.S. interests that are not involved in the PNGV program. It would be appropriate for the PNGV program to more fully evaluate applicable non-U.S. technology developments and to integrate selected developments into the program. INFRASTRUCTURE AND CAPITAL NEEDS There is a very high probability that the PNGV concept vehicle will use technologies that will result in technological discontinuities with many of today’s automotive technologies. The long-term impact and enormity of potential discontinuities in the road–vehicle–fuel infrastructure, vehicle service, and vehicle manufacturing sectors are such that these considerations must be addressed as integral parts of the PNGV program systems analysis at the earliest possible time. PEER REVIEWS OF THE PNGV If the PNGV program is to be vigorously implemented and supported as a national goal, more-detailed reviews of the technological decisions and research results would be of value, whether performed under the auspices of the National Research Council or some other independent group. Such expanded reviews of the program’s progress should be actively pursued. The National Research Council’s Standing Committee to Review the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, which is responsible for this initial peer review, is available to meet with the PNGV to discuss the recommendations provided herein. The committee proposes conducting further reviews in early 1995 that cover both technical and organizational structures of the PNGV program. As part of that process, the committee will examine the actions taken by the PNGV in addressing the recommendations of this report.