Human-Powered Vehicle; Approaching Bicycle Infrastructure and Policy in The United States

Shellady, Geoffrey, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Smith, Natasha, EN-Mech/Aero Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Foley, Rider, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

The United States exhibits a considerable lack of interest in sustainable human powered vehicle transportation compared to many other nations. The ASME Human Powered Vehicle Competition asks that participants design and construct a vehicle to compete in a series of performance competitions. The task seeks to inspire rising engineers to question current sustainable transportation technology and ways to innovate the industry.In entering the competition, a tadpole-style tricycle was designed and constructed to compete in a competition in April 2020.Human powered transportation provides a plethora of social incentives, however, the United States has failed to capitalize on these benefits. The success of bicycles is heavily dependent on the understanding of many societal factors. The Actor-Network Theory will be utilized to explore the ways in which bicycles are limited and how they interact with the existing transportation environment. Through the analysis of case studies from various nations with high bicycle engagement, applications and their outcomes can be explored in the context of The United States. The investigations lead to a general outline and plan of action for The United States to explore with regards to pursuing bicycle infrastructure and investment. Like other forms of transportation, human powered vehicles are inherently limited in their capabilities. Encouraging bicycle use will require a concerted effort of engineers, corporations, city planners, and politicians in order to effectively make use of the technology.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
United States, Bicycle Infrastructure, Human-Powered Vehicle, Transportation Policy

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Technical Advisor: Natasha Smith

STS Advisor: Rider Foley

Technical Team Members: Sungwoo Cho, Samantha Davis, Matthew Evanko, Yongyi Jiang, Nick Johnson, Thomas Lee, Brian Lembo, Kevin Meyers, Ian O'Donnell, Dana Poon, Christopher Wilks

Issued Date: