Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
The Cal Poly Prototype Vehicles Team (PROVE) is designing a solar powered vehicle to break an international land speed record. The space within the driver’s cockpit allotted for the steering mechanism was too small for a conventional steering wheel. This report describes the process that was followed to design, manufacture, and test a compact and lightweight steering apparatus for the PROVE solar vehicle. A lateral lever steering system, the final design selected for PROVE’s solar car, was designed to withstand the maximum expected loads applied by the driver during the three-minute run of the competition. The lateral lever steering apparatus is controlled by two adjustable handles. The rotation of the handles is limited to either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction relative to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle, thus turning the vehicle’s wheels right or left, respectively. The final cost of the system was $250 including shipping and handling. As the PROVE car body was not completed during the scope of this project, our team was not able to complete our testing of the system. Although we were not able to test the apparatus, our team is confident that our system will successfully and safely steer PROVE’s vehicle during their world record run in 2018.