Large vehicles with motors take up space, create pollution and can be costly. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Human Powered Vehicle Competition (HPVC) encourages engineering students to use skills learned to develop a practical means of transportation without a motor.
The competition consists of three main events: speed, endurance and design. The speed event requires a vehicle that is fast, can stop in 6 meters at a speed of 15 mph with front brakes and can defend the rider during a collision with a roll protection system (RPS). The RPS must handle a load of 2670 N of force on the top and 1330 N on the side.
The endurance event requires the vehicle to turn in 8 meters and handle speed bumps and long distances. The design event requires the team use good engineering design practices, provide design analysis and introduce new or innovative ideas. With all of this in mind, the team developed a vehicle that satisfies all competition requirements.
The vehicle frame was tested for strength using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) which determines if the frame RPS can handle the required loads. The vehicle systems (Steering, Powertrain, Safety, etc.) from concept generation then integrate into the frame as the project progresses. The vehicle features three wheels, a reclined seating position, disc brakes on the front wheels, a multiple gear powertrain and direct steering to the front wheels. We tested the vehicle to ensure all constraints are met including turning radius, braking distance and straight-line stability.