Automotive Product Development: A Systems Engineering Implementation, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Automotive Product Development

A Systems Engineering Implementation, 1st Edition

By Vivek D. Bhise

CRC Press

550 pages

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pub: 2017-03-22
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This book is about how to develop future automotive products by applying the latest methodologies based on a systems engineering approach and by taking into account many issues facing the auto industry such as meeting government safety, emissions and fuel economy regulations, incorporating advances in new technology applications in structural materials, power trains, vehicle lighting systems, displays and telematics, and satisfying the very demanding customer.

It is financially disastrous for any automotive company to create a vehicle that very few people want. To design an automotive product that will be successful in the marketplace requires carefully orchestrated teamwork of experts from many disciplines, substantial amount of resources, and application of proven techniques at the right time during the product development process.

Automotive Product Development: A Systems Engineering Implementation is intended for company management personnel and graduate students in engineering, business management and other disciplines associated with the development of automotive and other complex products.


"I very much like the book’s focus on treating the vehicle as a system (both in a technical and management way). Developing an automotive vehicle is not just about developing the technology, the technology must be relevant to the needs of the consumer. As the author points out in the preface, "the customer buys the ‘whole car’, not just a collection of systems and components…". Engineering programs (and books) do a great job of teaching the technology and Management programs (and books) do a great job of teaching management principles, but what seems missing is a book (like this) that bridges the technology and management principles."

Craig J. Hoff, Kettering University, Michigan, USA

Table of Contents



Website Materials



PART I: Automotive Product Development Process

Chapter 1 Introduction: Automotive Product Development


Complex Product, Many inputs, Many Designers and Engineers

Basic Definitions of Process, System and Systems Engineering



Systems Engineering

Product Development

Processes and Phases in Product Development

Automotive Product as a System

Automotive Product Development Process

What is Automotive Product Development?

Flow Diagram of Automotive Product Development

Timing Chart of the Automotive Product Development

Understanding Customer Needs

Using the Customer Needs to Deliver the "Whole" Product

Program Scope, Timings and Challenges

Scope of Vehicle Development Programs

Program Timings

Important Considerations in Managing Vehicle Programs

Some Frequently Asked Questions during Vehicle Development

Decision Making During Product Development

Disciplines Involved in Product Development

Selecting the Program Leader

Role of Early Vehicle Concept Development

Formation of Team Structure and Teams

Treating Suppliers as Partners

Other Internal and External Factors Affecting the Vehicle Programs

Internal Factors

External Factors

Importance, Advantages and Disadvantages of Systems Engineering

Importance of Systems Engineering

Advantages and Disadvantages of Systems Engineering

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 2 Steps and Iterations Involved in the Automotive Product Development


Systems Engineering Process and Models

The Process Begins with Understanding Customer and Business Needs and Government Requirements

Systems Engineering Process

Systems Engineering "V" Model

Systems Engineering Model with Five Types of Loops

Management of the Systems Engineering Process

Defining and Locating Gateways in Vehicle Program Timings

Managing by Vehicle Attributes

Vehicle Attributes and Attribute Requirements

What is an Attribute?

Attribute Requirements

Attribute Management

Vehicle Level Target Setting

Target Setting and Measures

Decomposition of a Vehicle into Manageable Lower Level Entities

Managing a Complex Product

Decomposition Tree

Relationship between Vehicle Attributes and Vehicle Systems

Interfaces between Vehicle Systems

Setting and Analyzing Requirements

What is a Requirement?

Why "specify" Requirements?

How are Requirements Developed?

Characteristics of a Good Requirement

Evaluations, Verification and Validation Tests

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 3 Customer Needs, Business Needs and Government Requirements


Inputs to the Automotive Development Process

Customer Needs

List of Customer Needs

Business Needs

Government Requirements

Obtaining Customer Inputs

Observational Methods

Communication Methods

Experimentation Methods

Additional Methods

Determining Business needs—Product Portfolio, Model Changes and Profitability

Government Requirements in Safety, Emissions and Fuel Economy

Government Safety Requirements

EPA’s GHG Emissions and NHTSA’s CAFE Standards

Implementation Readiness of New Technologies

Vehicle Features: "Wow", "Must Have" and "Nice to Have" Features

Global Customers and Suppliers

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 4 Role of Benchmarking and Target Setting





Differences between Benchmarking and Breakthrough

Benchmarking Competitors’ Vehicles: An Example

Examples of System, Sub-system and Component Level Benchmarking

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 5 Business Plan Development and Getting Management Approval


Business Plan

What is a Business Plan?

Contents of the Business Plan

Process of Preparing a Business Plan

Risks in Product Programs

Make vs. Buy Decisions

An Example of a Business Plan

Vehicle Description

Market Segment

Program Timings

Financial Plan

Risks in the Vehicle Program

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 6 New Technologies, Vehicle Features and Technology Development Plan

What Is a Technology Plan?

Implementing New Technologies

Major Reasons for Changes Affecting Future Vehicle Designs

Creating a Technology Plan

Risks in Technology Implementation

New Technologies

Design Trends in Powertrain Development

Driver Aids and Safety Technologies

Driver Information Interface Technologies

Connected Vehicles or V2X Technologies

Self-Driving Vehicles

Light-Weighting Technologies

Aerodynamic Drag Reduction

Technology Plan

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 7 Relation of Vehicle Attributes to Vehicle Systems


Overview of Tasks and Relationships between Customer Needs and System Allocation of Attribute Requirements to Vehicle Systems

Development of Overall Vehicle Specifications

Defining Attribute Requirements for the Proposed Vehicle

Refinement of Vehicle Attribute Requirements

Specification of Vehicle Functions from Attribute Requirements and Allocation of Functions to Vehicle Systems

Cascading Vehicle Attribute Requirements to Vehicle Systems

Systems Design Specifications

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 8 Understanding Interfaces between Vehicle Systems



What Is an Interface?

Types of Interfaces

Interface Requirements

Visualizing Interfaces

Representing an Interface

Interface Diagram

Interface Matrix

Examples of Interface Diagram and Interface Matrix

Vehicle Systems Interface Diagram and Interface Matrix

Vehicle Brake System Interfaces

Design Iterations to Eliminate or Improve Interfaces

Sharing of Common Entities across Vehicle Lines

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 9 Cascading Vehicle Attribute Requirements into Vehicle Systems


What IS Requirements Cascade?

Cascading Attribute Requirements to Lower Levels

Cascading Attribute Requirements to Develop Systems Design Requirements

Considerations Related to Cascading Attribute Requirements on Vehicle Systems

Examples of Attribute Requirements

Brake System and Its Subsystems Requirements

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 10 Development of Vehicle Concepts


Why Create a Vehicle Concept?

Process of Developing Vehicle Concepts

Other Issues Related to Vehicle Concept Creation

Product Variations and Differentiation

Definition of a Vehicle Platform

Number of Vehicle Concepts and Variations

Designing Vehicle Exterior and Interior as a System

Evaluation of Vehicle Concepts

Use of a Pugh Diagram for Concept Selection and Improvements

Planning for Models Packages and Optional Features

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 11 Selecting a Vehicle Concept


Market Research Clinics

What is Market Research?

New Concept Vehicle

Specific Evaluation Issues

Pros and Cons of Market Research

Market Research Methods Used in Product Development

Methods to Obtain Data

Market Research Clinics

Some Examples of Vehicle Characteristics Evaluated in Market Research Clinics

Commonly Evaluated Vehicle Characteristics Covered in the Market Research Clinics

Exterior Buck Preparation and Evaluation Set-up

Interior Buck Preparation for Package Surveys

Precautions for Clinics to Avoid Biases

Sources of Errors

Types of Survey Questions and Data Analyses

Types of Market Research Clinics

Static vs. Dynamic Clinics

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 12 Managing Vehicle Development Programs


Program Manager

Program versus Project Management

Program Management Functions

Developing Detailed Project Plan

Project Management

Steps in Project Planning

Tools Used in Project Planning

Gantt Chart

Critical Path Method

Program (or Project) Evaluation and Review Technique

Work-Breakdown Structure

Project Management Software

Other Tools

Systems Engineering Management Plan (SEMP)

Contents of SEMP

Checklist for Critical Information

Role of Systems Engineers

Value of Systems Engineering Management Plan

An Example of Systems Engineering Management Plan

Complexity in Program Management

Timings in Project Management

Cost Management

Challenges in Project Management

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 13 Computer-Aided Technologies


Computer-Aided Technologies

Claims: Advantages and Disadvantages of Computer-Aided Technologies

Computer-Aided Design, Engineering and Manufacturing

Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) Methods and Visualizations

Product Visualization Tools

Design Tools Used in Specialized Engineering Activities

Concept Design

CAE vs. Physical Tests and Prototype Builds

Design Review Meetings

Verification Tests

Validation Tests

Advantages of CAD

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 14 Vehicle Validation


Scope of Validation Testing

When is Validation Performed?

Whole Vehicle Tests

Methods Used for Evaluation

Customer ratings

Expert Reviews

Company Employees and Management Personnel

Laboratory and Controlled Field Tests

Some Examples of Validation Tests and Test Details

Vehicle Performance


Noise Vibrations and Harshness

Crash Safety

Styling and Appearance

Packaging and Ergonomics

Electrical and Electronics

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 15 Creating a Brochure and a Website for the Vehicle


Why Create a Vehicle Brochure?

Vehicle Website vs. Brochure

Contents of the Brochure

Picture Galleries

Vehicle Price

Examples of Brochure Contents

Vehicle Dimensions – Exterior and Interior

Powertrain and Fuel Economy

Key Vehicle Attributes

Safety Features

Special Features Categories

Concluding Remarks



PART II: Tools Used in the Automotive Design Process

Chapter 16 Tool Box fox Automotive Product Development


Tools Used during Product Development Phases


Design Standards and Guidelines

Product Planning Tools

CAD and Packaging Tools

Engineering Analysis Tools

Quality Tools

Human Factors and Ergonomics Tools

Safety Engineering Tools

Measurement Tools

Program/Project Management Tools

Financial Analysis Tools

Market Research Tools

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 17 Decision Making Tools


An Automaker’s Decision Making Problem: An Example

Decision Making in Product Design

Key Decisions in Product Life Cycle

Trade-offs during Design Stages

What Is Involved in Decision Making?

Alternatives, Outcomes, Payoffs and Risks

Maximum Expected Value Principle

Other Principles in Selecting Alternatives

Data Gathering for Decision Making

Importance of Timely Decisions

Robustness Evaluation through Sensitivity Analysis

Multi-attributes Decision Models

Pugh Diagram

Weighted Pugh Analysis

Weighted Total Score for Concept Selection

Analytical Hierarchy Method

AHP Application for Multi-attribute Decision Making

Informational Needs in Decision Making

Risks in Product Development and Product Uses

Definition of Risk and Types of Risks in Product Development

Types of Risks during Product Uses

Risk Analysis

Risk Matrix

Risk Priority Number

Problems in Risk Measurements

Importance of Early Decisions during Product Development

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 18 Product Planning Tools


Benchmarking and Breakthrough



Pugh Diagram

An Example of Pugh Diagram Application

Timing Charts and Gateways

Quality Function Deployment

An Example of QFD Chart

Cascading QFDs

Advantages and Disadvantages of QFD

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

An Example of FEMA

Failure Modes and Effects and Criticality Analysis

Other Product Development Tools

Business Plan

Program Status Chart


CAD Tools

Prototyping and Simulation

Physical Mock-ups

Technology Assessment Tools

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 19 Financial Analysis in Automotive Programs


Types of Costs and Revenues in Vehicle Programs

Non-Recurring and Recurring Costs

Costs and Revenues in Product Life Cycle

Fixed vs. Variable Costs

Make vs. Buy Decisions

Parts and Platform Sharing

Quality Costs

Manufacturing Costs

Safety Costs

Product Termination Costs

Total Life Cycle Costs

Effect of Time on Costs

Program Financial Plan

An Example: Automotive Product Program Cash Flow

Challenges in Estimating Costs and Revenues

Product Pricing Approaches

Traditional Cost-Plus Approach

Market Price-Minus Profit Approach

Other Cost Management Software Applications

Trade-offs and Risks

Types of Costs

Estimating Costs

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 20 Vehicle Package Engineering Tools


Vehicle Packaging Background

What Is Packaged in a Vehicle?

Vehicle Packaging Organizations

Specializations within Vehicle Package Engineering

Vehicle Packaging Personnel

Package Engineering and Ergonomics

Principle Used in Vehicle Packaging

Vehicle Packaging Procedure

Vehicle Package Engineering Tasks and Process

Standard Practices Used in Vehicle Packaging

Mechanical Packaging

Occupant Packaging

CAD Models and Package Bucks

Interior Package Reference Points and Seat Track Related Dimensions

Interior Dimensions

Driver Package Development Steps and Calculations

Entry and Exit Considerations

Problems during Entry and Exit

Vehicle Features and Dimensions Related to Entry and Exit

Driver Field of View

Visibility of and over the Hood

Command Seating Position

Short Driver Problems

Tall Driver Problems

Sun Visor Design Issues

Wiper Defroster Requirements

Obscurations Caused by A-Pillars

Mirror Field of View Requirements

Methods to Measure Field of View

Polar Plots

Other Packaging Issues and Vehicle Dimensions

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 21 Product Evaluation Methods


Overview on Product Evaluation Methods

Types of Data Collection and Measurement Methods

Methods of Data Collection and Analysis

Observational Methods

Communication Methods

Experimental Methods

Evaluations during Vehicle Development

Physical Tests with Measurement Instruments

Market Research Methods

Ergonomic Evaluations

Objective Measures and Data Methods

Subjective Methods and Data Analysis

Rating on a Scale

Paired Comparison Based Methods

Thurstone’s Method of Paired Comparisons

Analytical Hierarchy Method

Some Applications of Evaluation Techniques in Automotive Design


Observational Studies

Vehicle User Interviews

Ratings on Interval Scales

Studies Using Programmable Vehicle Bucks

Driving Simulator Studies

Field Studies and Drive Tests

System and Component Verification and Validation Methods

Concluding Remarks



PART III. Examples and Illustrations

Chapter 22 Applications of Tools


Benchmarking of Low Cost Vehicles

Photo Benchmarking

Quality Function Deployment

CAD Evaluations

Observational Studies in Designing a Center Console

Models for Ergonomic Evaluations

Legibility Prediction Model

Windshield Veiling Glare Prediction Model

Simulators, Laboratory and Field Studies

Driving Simulators

Laboratory and Field Tests

Package Evaluation Surveys

Concept Selection Market Research

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 23 Developing a Passenger Car: A Case Study


Customer Characteristics and Needs, Market Segment, Benchmarking and

Vehicle Specification

Customer Characteristics

Customer Needs

Market Segment


Description of the Target Vehicle

Changes in the Target Vehicle

Assessment of the Target Vehicle

Customer Needs Pugh Diagram

Vehicle Attributes Pugh Diagram

Vehicle Systems Pugh Diagram

Program Timings, Sales and Financial Projections

Program Timings

Projected Sales

Financial Projections

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 24 Developing a Pick-up Truck: A Case Study


Customer Characteristics and Needs, Market Segment, Benchmarking and

Vehicle Specification

Customer Characteristics

Customer Needs

Market Segment


Description of the Target Vehicle

Changes in the Target Vehicle

Assessment of the Target Vehicle

Customer Needs Pugh Diagram

Vehicle Attributes Pugh Diagram

Vehicle Systems Pugh Diagram

Program Timings, Sales and Financial Projections

Program Timings

Projected Sales

Financial Projections

Concluding Remarks


Chapter 25 Developing a Sports Utility Vehicle: A Case Study


Customer Characteristics and Needs, and Market Segment

Customer Characteristics

Customer Needs

Market Segment

Description of the Target Vehicle


Technology Plan

Assessment of the Target Vehicle

Customer Needs Pugh Diagram

Vehicle Attributes Pugh Diagram

Vehicle Systems Pugh Diagram

Program Timings, Sales and Financial Projections

Program Timings

Projected Sales

Financial Projections

Concluding Remarks


Appendix 1: Benchmarking and Preliminary Design Specifications

Appendix 2: QFD, Requirements Cascade and Interface Analysis for a Selected Vehicle System

Appendix 3: Business Plan Development

Appendix 4: Conceptual Design of the Proposed Vehicle and Technology Plan

Appendix 5:Systems Engineering Management Plan and Vehicle Brochure


About the Author

Vivek D. Bhise is currently Visiting Professor/LEO Lecturer and Professor in post-retirement of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He received his B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering (1965) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India, M.S. in Industrial Engineering (1966) from the University of California, Berkeley, California and Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering (1971) from the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

During 1973 to 2001, he held a number of management and research positions at the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan. He was the manager of Consumer Ergonomics Strategy and Technology within the Corporate Quality Office, and the manager of the Human Factors Engineering and Ergonomics in the Corporate Design of the Ford Motor Company where he was responsible for the ergonomics attribute in the design of car and truck products.

Dr. Bhise is the author of recent books entitled "Ergonomics in the Automotive Design Process" (ISBN: 978-1-4398-4210-2. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2012) and "Designing Complex Products with Systems Engineering Processes and Techniques" (ISBN: 978-1-4665-0703-6. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2014.)

Dr. Bhise has taught graduate courses in Vehicle Ergonomics, Vehicle Package Engineering, Automotive Systems Engineering, Management of Product and Process Design, Work Methods and Industrial Ergonomics, Human Factors Engineering, Total Quality Management and Six Sigma, Quantitative Methods in Quality Engineering, Energy Evaluation, Risk Analysis and Optimization,Product Design and Evaluations, Safety Engineering, Computer-Aided Product Design and Manufacturing, and Statistics and Probability Theory over the past 36 years (1980-2001 as an adjunct professor, 2001-2009 as a professor, and 2009-present as a visiting professor in post-retirement) at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He also worked on a number of research projects in human factors with Late Prof. Thomas Rockwell at the Driving Research Laboratory at the Ohio State University (1968-1973).

His publications include over 100 technical papers in the design and evaluation of automotive interiors, parametric modeling of vehicle packaging, vehicle lighting systems, field of view from vehicles, and modeling of human performance in different driver/user tasks.

Dr. Bhise has also served as an expert witness on cases involving product safety, patent infringement and highway safety.

He received the Human Factors Society's A. R. Lauer Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Understanding of Driver Behavior in 1987. He has served on a number of committees of the Society of Automotive Engineers, the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)