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Design To Competition: Sae Energy Efficient Vehicle

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.136.1 - 2.136.4



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Paper Authors

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John G. Nee

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2348

Design to Competition: SAE Energy-Efficient Vehicle

John G. Nee Central Michigan University

A high-interest design and manufacturing problem that students developed multiple solutions for in advanced CAD classes dealt with a very timely topic--energy-efficient single-occupant vehicle design. The goal for the courses was to design and eventually produce a vehicle that would successfully compete. The students, after considerable research and discussion, decided to propose some solutions consistent with the rules and guidelines of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Super Mileage Vehicles competition, one of a number of automotive design competitions that the SAE sponsors.4 Briggs and Stratton engines are used and supplied to fee paid entrants ($ 100).

For the Super Mileage Vehicles competition, students determined that their design should minimize aerodynamic drag in a vehicle that was comfortable to drive and control. Reduction of mass and design of a high-efficiency drive system were required. The design had to meet general SAE safety requirements, which include specifications on several items:

• Kill switch • Guards and shields • Helmets and clothing • Fuel and lube systems • Brake system • Fire extinguisher • Exhaust system • Fire wall • Exitability • Visibility • Alcohol • Suspension system • Body shell • Electrical controls

Brainstorming Solutions

With these guidelines, and other specifications from SAE, students started an analysis of the problem. They generated a series of questions, which, when answered, served as the basis for a variety of design solutions. Some of the questions the class raised were:

• What positions will the driver assume? • What human dimensions will the design require? • How will the driver control and drive the vehicle? • What braking system will be used? • What ventilation is required? • What speed is to be maintained? • What is the cost of the vehicle? • What suspensions system will be used? • What are the critical dimensions? • Should seating be adjustable?

Nee, J. G. (1997, June), Design To Competition: Sae Energy Efficient Vehicle Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6498

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