The timely use of systems analysis to guide development is a critical issue for PNGV management to resolve. The timing presented in the Technical Roadmap for systems analysis efforts has been seriously delayed. The Technical Roadmap, in Section IIIA, clearly states:

The role of systems analysis in the PNGV is to support component, systems, and vehicle development by providing the analytical capability to efficiently and accurately assess competing technologies, and vehicle concepts against Goal 3 objectives and vehicle performance requirements. This will enable an objective evaluation of risk, benefit, and cost, in order to focus on the best options, with the least expenditure of resources.

This statement implies that the selection of optimal technologies for the design, fabrication, and assembly of the concept vehicles would be adversely affected by the absence, or inadequacy, of supporting subsystem and component tradeoff studies. These studies, in turn, depend on the availability of appropriate systems analysis methods.

Another important issue is the selection of the best system architecture for the concept vehicle. This is being approached on two fronts. As noted earlier, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors have decided to carry on separate PNGV concept vehicle development in each of their respective engineering organizations. It has also been decided that the PNGV will not design and build a concept car. This is logical, if viewed from a proprietary-product standpoint and in terms of resource optimization. Each company will be using its in-house systems analysis and modeling capability to support its design selection. Although the PNGV team does plan to perform system analysis and vehicle engineering, the scope and specificity of the analysis must be designed with full understanding that the input from each automotive manufacturer may be vague in content. Each manufacturer is obliged to meet the same set of challenging requirements (specifications) for the Goal 3 vehicle. In the view of the committee, without a rigorous and disciplined systems analysis effort, the common requirements cannot be effectively established in a timely and coordinated fashion. Thus, the committee identifed the systems analysis effort as imperative. In addition, the committee considers that this effort would be most effectively directed and managed by a USCAR technical director.

The PNGV technology teams need direction on vehicle system requirements, and this should be provided by PNGV Vehicle Engineering Team, supported by systems analysis. This approach provides a single conduit for design information and design tradeoffs during the pre-competitive phase of the program. Vehicle system, subsystems, and component models will be created, which will support both the PNGV technology teams and the individual company vehicle teams. It would be helpful to the program if the USCAR partners

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