9

Program Organization and Management

Management of the PNGV program represents a major challenge, requiring technological innovation, integration of complex elements, minimum product cost, high product reliability, environmental protection, passenger safety, and enhanced competitiveness. The involvement of the three major U.S. automotive companies—Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors—which are traditionally competitors rather than collaborators, together with several government agencies and national laboratories adds an additional major challenge. While national efforts involving many partners are not without precedent (e.g., Sematech), the goal of producing a commercially viable product capable of enhancing U.S. competitiveness in international markets while meeting anticipated domestic market requirements sets the PNGV effort apart from other initiatives. The committee considers the underlying concept of the PNGV program to be credible. The objective of the program is to reassert U.S. leadership and enhance the competitiveness of U.S. industry in the technology-driven global automotive market.

This chapter addresses PNGV program organization and management. Progress made in these areas since the first peer review is assessed, and suggestions are made for further improvements. A final section on foreign technology puts the PNGV program in the broader context of efforts to develop and implement advanced vehicle technologies by other countries in competition with the United States. It highlights the likely challenges that confront PNGV vehicles both in international markets and in the domestic market from vehicles imported into the United States.

PNGV TECHNICAL ROADMAP

The draft PNGV Technical Roadmap provided to the committee prior to its meeting in August 1995 answers many of the questions posed during the previous review (PNGV, 1995b). Of particular note in that review was the need



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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES: SECOND REPORT 9 Program Organization and Management Management of the PNGV program represents a major challenge, requiring technological innovation, integration of complex elements, minimum product cost, high product reliability, environmental protection, passenger safety, and enhanced competitiveness. The involvement of the three major U.S. automotive companies—Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors—which are traditionally competitors rather than collaborators, together with several government agencies and national laboratories adds an additional major challenge. While national efforts involving many partners are not without precedent (e.g., Sematech), the goal of producing a commercially viable product capable of enhancing U.S. competitiveness in international markets while meeting anticipated domestic market requirements sets the PNGV effort apart from other initiatives. The committee considers the underlying concept of the PNGV program to be credible. The objective of the program is to reassert U.S. leadership and enhance the competitiveness of U.S. industry in the technology-driven global automotive market. This chapter addresses PNGV program organization and management. Progress made in these areas since the first peer review is assessed, and suggestions are made for further improvements. A final section on foreign technology puts the PNGV program in the broader context of efforts to develop and implement advanced vehicle technologies by other countries in competition with the United States. It highlights the likely challenges that confront PNGV vehicles both in international markets and in the domestic market from vehicles imported into the United States. PNGV TECHNICAL ROADMAP The draft PNGV Technical Roadmap provided to the committee prior to its meeting in August 1995 answers many of the questions posed during the previous review (PNGV, 1995b). Of particular note in that review was the need

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES: SECOND REPORT for a more detailed program plan outlining objectives, task descriptions, management responsibilities, milestones, resources, schedule, and performance metrics. The Technical Roadmap is recognized by the committee as a constructive beginning and an important achievement in 1995. However, the committee continues to have concerns as follows: The process of selecting technology concepts for evaluation, the selection of concepts for vehicle application, and the technical management to assure that vehicle performance objectives and timing are met are not clearly defined in the Technical Roadmap. The technical teams (e.g. on fuel cells) appear to be effectively organized and working to specific objectives. However, problems exist with (1) overall vehicle planning and control; (2) the process for program review against specific targets and milestones in the technology development plan; and (3) the process for technology “downselect” in 1997. Further, federal budgets pertinent to PNGV are not allocated as line items, and it is difficult to make judgments about relative spending levels and appropriate resource allocations. A procedure is required for defining metrics for subsystem performance and then effectively communicating these requirements to the technology teams. The committee is concerned that these matters appear to have been handled on an ad-hoc basis. Unless this issue is properly addressed, overall program goals could be severely compromised. Initiation of the systems analysis effort will undoubtedly help, particularly if placed under the direction of the recommended USCAR PNGV Technical Director. Specific actions to remedy these deficiencies are recommended by the committee as a matter of some urgency, as discussed below. TECHNICAL ORGANIZATION STRUCTURE During the past year, the PNGV has solidified its technical organization structure, which is illustrated in figure 9-1. Central to the organization are the technical teams responsible for R&D on candidate subsystems; namely, the manufacturing, materials and structures, and systems analysis teams. Technical oversight and coordination are provided by the Vehicle Engineering Team. The

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES: SECOND REPORT FIGURE 9-1 PNGV Technical Organization Structure, (Note: Matrix organization with each node representing interaction among teams.) * DI ICE = direct injection internal combustion engine SOURCE: PNGV, 1995a.

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES: SECOND REPORT teams are staffed by representatives from government and industry. The committee determined that these teams appear to be effectively organized and working towards specific objectives. Many of the technology teams were established in 1995 and have held a number of meetings. Their efforts have lead to a first round of development targets in each of the technology areas; these targets provide importance guidance for the various government-sponsored projects in the PNGV program. However, the committee was concerned that some key management personnel from USCAR are spending only a very limited amount of time on PNGV activities. In its Phase 1 report the committee recognized that each of the three automotive companies might “independently want to pursue applications of the technologies developed as part of Goal 3” (NRC, 1994). While not suggesting that this approach was inappropriate, the committee noted that “the overall objectives of Goal 3 must be managed by a single platform team.” The committee futher observed that, although separate industry teams “would have full access to the technologies developed as part of Goal 3, the co-located USCAR team would have the full authority and responsibility to set the direction for meeting the objectives of Goal 3.” Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors, in concert with PNGV, recently decided not to develop a single PNGV concept car but rather to have each company pursue its own concept car (or cars), sharing directions and decisions as appropriate. The committee notes that this decision impacts many aspects of the program plan and management, as follows: The PNGV Technical Roadmap must help assure that there is close coordination between the work of the PNGV technical teams and the needs of the individual automotive manufacturers. A central systems-analysis function is more imperative to analyze tradeoffs and to help refine subsystem targets, but each company must now supplement the central systems analysis activity with its own more specific needs. The need for a USCAR technical director still appears paramount to plan and execute the systems analysis and tradeoff studies (despite a very late start); establish the principal specifications for the Goal 3 vehicle(s); and provide the broad architecture and foundations for the vehicle subsystem and component design and engineering, which must be established in less than two years to meet the 1997 milestone for technology selection for the concept vehicle. A further essential role of a USCAR technical director is to provide unified technical and program

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES: SECOND REPORT guidance to the government organizations supporting the PNGV program. It is not imperative for USCAR per se to have a central, integrated platform team guiding the program. Rather, each of the three car companies must now manage its own internal operations so as to develop their own concept car designs, and each must accordingly provide feedback to the PNGV program, including the government participants, on the innovations that each needs. Nonetheless, at some point a USCAR technical director needs to establish the priorities of demands placed on PNGV by the individual car companies. There will be a premium on good communications between the parties so that government-sponsored projects can have the highest probability of providing the essential technology. Rather than PNGV being managed as a single-line, single-focus program, it now becomes a less cohesive assembly of individual projects aiming to satisfy the needs of three different project teams. The management challenges are daunting, and the potential economic benefits of joint USCAR developments are perhaps being diluted. SCHEDULE AND RESOURCES The Technical Roadmap includes an overall program schedule as well as schedules for the various technology teams. All the schedules appear to be in line with program objectives as would be expected for a roadmap is in its infancy. Among many challenges to meeting the overall schedule, perhaps the greatest are the long delay in starting the systems analysis effort and the reductions in requested government FY 1996 funding. As discussed above, the committee considered the delay in starting systems analysis to be extremely unfortunate, particularly since the reasons for the delay did not appear insurmountable. The lack of systems feedback to the technology teams means that they do not fully appreciate the system sensitivity or the importance of their various technical targets—a problem that threatens the schedule. At this time the overall impact of the systems analysis delay on the schedule cannot be estimated. A major issue of concern to the committee is the level of funding for the government part of the PNGV program. The PNGV program plan included estimates of required government funding levels, which were to grow over time. These levels were considered essential to program success and were based, in part, on the expectation that the government partners would fund longer term,

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES: SECOND REPORT higher risk technologies; the industry partners would fund shorter term, lower risk technologies. FY 1996 was the first year that PNGV program management was able to address the government PNGV budget (comprising activities at federal agencies) in a relatively cohesive fashion. The FY 1995 budget was already finalized and/or working its way through the Congress when the PNGV program was initiated. It is now known that the FY 1996 federal budget has been dramatically altered by changes in federal government priorities. The budgets for the various federal PNGV programs have been reduced below those requested. Because the final PNGV budgets were not known when this report was prepared, the committee was unable to judge the impact of the reductions on the overall PNGV schedule. Without question, the budget reductions will delay milestone achievement and increase the risk associated with meeting the technical objectives, unless a reallocation of resources to the most promising candidate subsystems occurs within the PNGV program. The problem is compounded by the fact that the government program manager does not have the authority to redeploy existing funds to the highest priority projects. When the budgets are finalized and the Technical Roadmap updated, the overall program schedule and associated risk will need to be reassessed in light of the original program goals. The committee was also concerned that information is not available on the level of resources devoted to the PNGV program by the USCAR partners. PROGRAM MANAGEMENT As noted earlier in this report, the committee continues to believe that, with respect to detailed program management, the industry partners would be well served by having a single technical director in USCAR, as recommended in the Phase 1 report. The absence of such technical leadership has resulted in the USCAR members of the PNGV being unable to use the leverage of an integrated organization in pursuit of the program goals. Many of the current program difficulties—the delay in starting systems analysis work, the complexities resulting from the decision to develop separate concept vehicles, and the very limited amount of time being spent on USCAR/PNGV business by some staff— could all be addressed more effectively if the USCAR members of the PNGV formed an integrated working group under a single technical director, rather than being a team in name only. The responsibilities of a USCAR technical director would include estabilishing appropriate operating procedures and control mechanisms. On the government side, the committee continues to consider strong central program management essential to the success of the program. The government currently lacks an effective program management organization and is

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES: SECOND REPORT also in need of a chief technical officer to provide direction and leadership to the many federal organizations supporting PNGV.1 The program management office, located in the DOC, operates more as an information office than as a program director's office. The staff of the program management office have essentially no authority to impact the federal program other than through personal persuasion. PNGV management at the DOE similarly is not empowered to directly influence the array of federal projects potentially contributing to the PNGV initiative. The majority of these projects were initiated before the advent of the PNGV program and, therefore, respond in varying degrees to PNGV needs. One result of this management arrangement is that, when the technology selection occurs in 1997, PNGV management on the government side will have little or no ability to participate actively in that process or to redeploy funds from less significant projects to more important ones. Consequently, high priority projects may not be adequately funded, and projects of less relevance to PNGV, albeit possibly justified for other purposes, may be funded. FOREIGN TECHNOLOGY At its October meeting the committee was briefed by representatives of some foreign organizations and was provided an overview of overseas programs based on broadly available information (see appendix B). The U.S. PNGV activity appears to have stimulated reactions in Europe and Japan, which have recently established aggressive, well-funded advanced vehicle development programs in response to the U.S. initiative. Having effectively set a new target for international competitiveness, the United States can ill afford to reduce its efforts and commitment to PNGV. If it were to do so, the U.S. automobile industry would likely have its international competitiveness significantly damaged in the mid- to long-term. Some significant examples of foreign leadership are as follows: Audi is now producing an aluminum body automobile for general sale. This provides Audi with an advantage in the development of such lightweight vehicles. The Europeans are ahead of other countries in diesel engine automobiles, having produced and sold them for many years in response to market demands in Europe. 1   The committee specifically chose not to address the issue of where the central government focus should reside, since many of the determining factors are beyond the scope of the committee's task.

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES: SECOND REPORT TABLE 9-1 Preliminary Ranking of U.S., European, and Japanese Advanced Automotive Technologies Technology U.S. Europe Japan Internal combustion, compression ignition engine 3 1 2 Internal combustion, spark ignition engine 2 2 1 Gas turbine 1 (systems) 1 (systems) 1 (components) Fuel cell Immature technology—no ratings assigned Flywheel 1 1 3 Battery 1 (high energy) 2 1 (high power) Ultracapacitor 3 3 1 Lightweight materials 2 1 (aluminum) 1 (high-strength steel) Note: 1 = highest ranking; 3 = lowest ranking These demands were spurred by differing diesel fuel pricing and emissions standards than in the United States. The Japanese lead the world in lightweight, high-efficiency, spark-ignited engines. In gas turbines for hybrid vehicle application, no leader is obvious. The Germans have a strong fuel cell development program. The Japanese have commericialized ultracapacitors. These evaluations must be considered to be preliminary. However, the committee believes—on the basis of the information provided—that the United States is not in a leadership position in many of the technologies critical for a successful PNGV (table 9-1). This puts the United States at a disadvantage that may be significant and argues strongly for an appropriately funded federal and private PNGV program. PEER REVIEWS OF THE PNGV Finally, the PNGV plan does not show regular program reviews either by the participants or through independent reviews. The NRC committee 's first

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES: SECOND REPORT report on the PNGV research program was issued in October 1994 (NRC, 1994) and was acknowledged as “extremely valuable to the project for its ability to provide unbiased, constructive suggestions for improvement” (The White House, 1994). The committee suggests that regular program reviews be explicitly scheduled and that an appropriate budget be earmarked for this purpose. RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendation. The committee still strongly recommends that the partners in USCAR appoint a single technical director as a way of benefitting from the leverage of an integrated organization in pursuit of PNGV goals. Recommendation. The committee reiterates its earlier recommendation that senior management at DOC and DOE install a management structure with appropriate authority and responsibility as soon as possible and ensure strong, capable staffing. This structure should include a chief technical officer to provide technical direction to the wide array of government technical activities. The role of the chief technical officer becomes even more critical in the absence of a single USCAR techncial program director. Recommendation. The PNGV needs to have a better calibration of the state of development and predictions for commercial availability of foreign technology. Recommendation. As a matter of urgency and in accordance with the committee's recommendation in its first report, the PNGV should conduct more comprehensive assessments and benchmark foreign technology developments relevant to the program. If warranted by the results of such analyses, PNGV should reassess its research priorities. Recommendation. To be successful, a complex development program such as PNGV must have well defined plans and objectives, adequate resources, and the support of sufficient funding. It is incumbent upon both USCAR and the government to ensure that adequate resources for the PNGV program are provided in a timely manner and used efficiently in overcoming the critical barriers to achieving PNGV goals.

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REVIEW OF THE RESEARCH PROGRAM OF THE PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VEHICLES: SECOND REPORT REFERENCES NRC (National Research Council). 1994. Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles. Board on Energy and Environmental Systems and Transporation Research Board, NRC. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. PNGV (Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles). 1995a. Technical Organization Structure. Dearborn, Michigan: PNGV. PNGV. 1995b. Technical Roadmap (draft). Dearborn, Michigan: PNGV. The White House. 1994. Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, Statement on the National Research Council Peer Review Report. November 7, 1994. Washington, D.C.: The White House.