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Ground propulsion is any mechanism for propelling solid bodies along the ground, usually for the purposes of transportation. The propulsion system often consists of a combination of an engine or motor, a gearbox and wheel and axles (or caterpillar tracks) in standard applications.
Propulsion means to push forward or drive an object forward. The term is derived from two Latin words: pro, meaning before or forward; and pellere, meaning to drive. A propulsion system consists of a source of mechanical power, and a propulsor.
An engine or motor is a machine designed to convert one form of energy into mechanical energy. Heat engines, like the internal combustion engine, burn a fuel to create heat which is then used to do work. Electric motors convert electrical energy into mechanical motion, pneumatic motors use compressed air, and clockwork motors in wind-up toys use elastic energy. In biological systems, molecular motors, like myosins in muscles, use chemical energy to create forces and eventually motion.
The wheel and axle are one of six simple machines identified by Renaissance scientists drawing from Greek texts on technology. The wheel and axle consists of a wheel attached to a smaller axle so that these two parts rotate together in which a force is transferred from one to the other. A hinge or bearing supports the axle, allowing rotation. It can amplify force; a small force applied to the periphery of the large wheel can move a larger load attached to the axle.
The primary and most natural type of propulsion is the use of muscle power. The invention of the wheel allowed for the development of vehicles like Carts and Wagons that make more efficient use of muscle power, allowing larger loads to be transported. Vehicles drawn by humans and domesticated animals are not economically as important as they once were, but they still exist. Examples of human-powered vehicles are rickshaws and cycle rickshaws.
A vehicle is a machine that transports people or cargo. Vehicles include wagons, bicycles, motor vehicles, railed vehicles, watercraft, amphibious vehicles, aircraft and spacecraft.
A cart is a vehicle designed for transport, using two wheels and normally pulled by one or a pair of draught animals. A handcart is pulled or pushed by one or more people. It is different from a dray or wagon, which is a heavy transport vehicle with four wheels and typically two or more horses, or a carriage, which is used exclusively for transporting humans.
A wagon is a heavy four-wheeled vehicle pulled by draught animals or on occasion by humans, used for transporting goods, commodities, agricultural materials, supplies and sometimes people.
The development of the steam engine and internal combustion engine allowed for the development of rail vehicles and motor vehicles, all of which have some form of a powertrain. The electric motor allowed for quieter vehicles with lower emissions, and frequently higher engine efficiency.
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid. The steam engine uses the force produced by steam pressure to push a piston back and forth inside a cylinder. This pushing force is transformed, by a connecting rod and flywheel, into rotational force for work. The term "steam engine" is generally applied only to reciprocating engines as just described, not to the steam turbine.
An internal combustion engine (ICE) is a heat engine where the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer in a combustion chamber that is an integral part of the working fluid flow circuit. In an internal combustion engine, the expansion of the high-temperature and high-pressure gases produced by combustion applies direct force to some component of the engine. The force is applied typically to pistons, turbine blades, rotor or a nozzle. This force moves the component over a distance, transforming chemical energy into useful mechanical energy.
A motor vehicle, also known as motorized vehicle or automotive vehicle, is a self-propelled vehicle, commonly wheeled, that does not operate on rails and is used for the transportation of people or cargo.
Some less commonly used or experimental engines are:
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Human-powered transport is the transport of person(s) and/or goods using human muscle power. Like animal-powered transport, human-powered transport has existed since time immemorial in the form of walking, running and swimming. Modern technology has allowed machines to enhance human-power.
Continuous track, also called tank tread or caterpillar track, is a system of vehicle propulsion in which a continuous band of treads or track plates is driven by two or more wheels. This band is typically made of modular steel plates in the case of military vehicles and heavy equipment, or synthetic rubber reinforced with steel wires in the case of lighter agricultural or construction vehicles.
A hybrid vehicle uses two or more distinct types of power, such as internal combustion engine to drive an electric generator that powers an electric motor, e.g. in diesel-electric trains using diesel engines to drive an electric generator that powers an electric motor, and submarines that use diesels when surfaced and batteries when submerged. Other means to store energy include pressurized fluid in hydraulic hybrids.
A tricycle, often abbreviated to trike, is a human-powered three-wheeled vehicle.
An auto rickshaw is a motorized development of the traditional pulled rickshaw or cycle rickshaw. Most have three wheels and do not tilt. An exception is in Cambodia, where two different types of vehicles are called tuk-tuks, one of which has four wheels and is composed of a motorcycle and trailer.
A diesel–electric transmission, or diesel–electric powertrain, is used by a number of vehicle and ship types for providing locomotion.
In a motor vehicle, the powertrain or powerplant comprises the main components that generate power and deliver it to the road surface, water, or air. This includes the engine, transmission, drive shafts, differentials, and the final drive. More recently in hybrid powertrains the battery, the electric motor and the control algorithm are also seen as elements of the powertrain.
A three-wheeler is a vehicle with three wheels. Some are motorized tricycles, which may be legally classed as motorcycles, while others are tricycles without a motor, some of which are human-powered vehicles and animal-powered vehicles.
Drive by wire, DbW, by-wire, Steer-by-wire, Fly-by-wire or x-by-wire technology in the automotive industry is the use of electrical or electro-mechanical systems for performing vehicle functions traditionally achieved by mechanical linkages. This technology replaces the traditional mechanical control systems with electronic control systems using electromechanical actuators and human-machine interfaces such as pedal and steering feel emulators. Components such as the steering column, intermediate shafts, pumps, hoses, belts, coolers and vacuum servos and master cylinders are eliminated from the vehicle. This is similar to the fly-by-wire systems used widely in the aviation industry.
Means of transport is a term used to distinguish substantially different means of conveyance. The different modes of transport are air, water, and land transport, which includes rail, road and off-road transport. Other modes also exist, including pipelines, cable transport, and space transport. Human-powered transport and animal-powered transport are sometimes regarded as their own mode, but never fall into the other categories. In general, transportation is used for the movement of people, animals, and other things. Each mode of transport has a fundamentally different technological solution, and some require a separate environment. Each mode has its own infrastructure, vehicles, and operations.
A motorised bicycle is a bicycle with an attached motor or engine and transmission used either to power the vehicle unassisted, or to assist with pedalling. Since it always retains both pedals and a discrete connected drive for rider-powered propulsion, the motorised bicycle is in technical terms a true bicycle, albeit a power-assisted one. However, for purposes of governmental licensing and registration requirements, the type may be legally defined as a motor vehicle, motorbike, moped, or a separate class of hybrid vehicle. Powered by a variety of engine types and designs, the motorised bicycle formed the prototype for what would later become the motorbike.
Hybrid vehicle drivetrains transmit power to the driving wheels for hybrid vehicles. A hybrid vehicle has multiple forms of motive power.
Land transport is the transport or movement of people, animals or goods from one location to another on land. The two main forms of land transport are rail transport and road transport.
Transport or transportation is the movement of humans, animals and goods from one location to another. In other words the action of transport is defined as a particular movement of an organism or thing from a point A to the Point B. Modes of transport include air, land, water, cable, pipeline and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles and operations. Transport is important because it enables trade between people, which is essential for the development of civilizations.
A motorized tricycle, motor trike, or three-wheeled motorcycle is a three-wheeled vehicle based on the same technology as a bicycle or motorcycle, and powered by an electric motor, motorcycle, scooter or car engine. These are mainly used by old motorcyclists that can not reverse using their feet
Human-powered land vehicles are land vehicles propelled over ground by human power. The main ways to support the weight of a human-powered land vehicle and its contents above the ground are rolling contact; sliding contact; intermittent contact; no contact at all as with anything carried; or some combination of the above. The main methods of using human power to propel a land vehicle are some kind of drivetrain; pushing laterally against the ground with a wheel, skate, or ski that simultaneously moves forward; by pushing against the ground directly with an appendage opposite to the direction of travel; or by propeller. Human-powered land vehicles can be propelled by persons riding in the vehicle or by persons walking or running and not supported by the vehicle.
A solar rickshaw is a vehicle, usually three-wheeled, driven by an electric motor and powered either by solar panels or by a battery charged by solar panels.
Electric rickshaws have been becoming more popular in some cities since 2008 as an alternative to auto rickshaws and pulled rickshaws because of their low fuel cost, and less human effort compared to pulled rickshaws. They are being widely accepted as an alternative to petrol/diesel/CNG auto rickshaws. They are 3 wheelers pulled by an electric motor ranging from 650-1400 Watts. They are mostly manufactured in India and China, only a few other countries manufacture these vehicles. Battery-run rickshaws could be a low-emitter complementary transport for the low-income people, who suffer most from a lack of transport facility, if introduced in a systematic manner according to experts.