A rapid increase in electronic control systems and data networks use has occurred in the heavy duty vehicle industry. This new technology permits new vehicle features and functions, some of which are the direct intent and result of introducing the technology and some of which are achievable by synergy. The synergy occurs when a significant percentage of the vehicle functions are controlled electronically and are able to communicate with each other through a data network. The industry is not yet prepared to exploit this synergistic potential. New approaches to vehicle design and integration are required to maximize the benefits that are achievable. Countering the increased functionality, reliability, and cost effectiveness of electronics has come new demands on the maintenance system due to the new technologies and functions being introduced. To take maximum advantage of the benefits of vehicle electronics while minimizing the negatives requires that the vehicle manufacturer take an active approach to systems engineering processes which can evaluate and identify the optimum designs.