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The Basic Utility Vehicle (Buv)

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ET Capstone Projects

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1103.1 - 8.1103.8

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Paper Authors

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Douglas Acheson

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

Session 3447

The Basic Utility Vehicle (BUV) – A Humanitarian Capstone Project

Douglas C. Acheson Computer Graphics Technology Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Abstract Engineering and technology schools, departments and students are encouraged to explore a capstone design project option that possesses significant, far-reaching implications for international humanitarian application. An Indianapolis, Indiana-based non-profit organization called the “Institute of Affordable Transportation (IAT)” engages young engineering and technology talent through service-based capstone projects to design and develop a class of transportation known as a Basic Utility Vehicle (BUV). The IAT’s mission is to improve living standards and enable economic growth in the Third World by creating a simple vehicle that can be assembled almost anywhere, by almost anyone. To propagate this initiative, the IAT hosts an annual collegiate BUV competition that tests student-designed prototype BUV’s. Ultimately, the student efforts from these competitions will help provide mobility, freedom and economic hope to people in rural areas of developing countries. This paper introduces the organization that is the genesis of this initiative, gives an overview of the first two IAT collegiate competitions (including examples of student-designed and other vehicles), reflects on the academic benefits to participating students and faculty and culminates with an invitation to academic institutions to become involved in this life-changing initiative.

The Institute for Affordable Transportation (IAT) The IAT's main initiatives include researching the need and feasibility of BUVs, administering collegiate competitions, and promoting the need for the vehicle to all stakeholders. As BUV designs finalize, the IAT will ensure that the end consumer is served by assisting stakeholders with logistics, customs, financing and taxes.

IAT's strategy utilizes college students for cost-effective market research and product development via competitions and projects. BUVs are designed around these specifications:


Acheson, D. (2003, June), The Basic Utility Vehicle (Buv) Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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