Steering & Braking

The steering and front wheel support system is one of the most crucial design elements of the vehicle.  Not only will the system support a portion of the vehicle weight, it will also be subjected to large dynamic forces due to braking, cornering and irregularities in the road surface.  The system will incorporate the function for steering the vehicle and will be designed with minimal frictional losses when steering.  Due to the significant demand on this system, much time will be spent on making the system as lightweight as possible while maintaining full functionality and ensuring longevity.  The competition requires that the vehicle has the ability to turn a 6 meter radius.  The design goal of the vehicle will be based off a 5 meter turn radius to ensure the standard is met.

To obtain true Ackerman steering geometry, a trapezoidal steering mechanism will be use.

The vehicle will be equipped with three mountain bike hydraulic disc brake system, along with 203 mm brake rotors.  The two front brakes will be controlled by one hand brake lever, using a custom barbed adapter to join the brake caliper hydraulic lines, and the rear brake controlled by another brake lever.  Both brake levers will be attached to the steering wheel for ease of handling by the driver.  The effectiveness of the braking system will be tested by placing the vehicle on an incline ramp, that is raised to a 20% (or 11.31°) slope grade, where both the front and the rear brakes must prevent the vehicle from sliding.

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