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Authors: Zirkel, Daniel
Advisors: Nosenchuck, Daniel
Department: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: Despite a growing affinity for versatile and multifunctional devices in the technology industry, the American automotive market is saturated with single-use vehicles. One might be well-suited for delivering children to soccer practice, another for towing one’s boat to the water, still another for commuting alone in city traffic. This project aims to prove by example that there can exist a concept vehicle design which combines the functionalities of several traditional vehicle classes (think cars, vans, or pickups), thereby dispelling the notion that each vehicle is ideal only for a particular set of chores. This report details the market research, statistical analysis, calculation, and simulation from which three unique versatile vehicle designs were derived, as well as those designs themselves. The final de-sign iteration produced a safe, simple, and easy-to-use concept vehicle. Its height (68”), width (75”), and lengths (178” and 207”) are comparable to those of the top-selling US models, and its 63.8ft3 of cargo volume is superior to theirs. The available 5ft to 10ft of truck bed lends itself to even larger cargo loads. Its weight distribution (48/52), double wishbone front suspension, and 150+hp AWD electric drivetrain provide smooth acceleration and sporty handling. Most importantly, its component placement, steel frame, airbags, and high-tech network of sensors provide for a safe driving experience. Whereas this vehicle’s qualities were derived from the surveys and sales data, future versions would be further optimized for improved fuel efficiency, more storage space, and better handling. Nevertheless, the design process depicted herein has proven the existence of a design solution to this challenge of synthesizing several categories of vehicle into one elite versatile class and laid the groundwork for further development of this concept.
Extent: 92 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 1924-2020

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