About the Challenge

Basic Information

The vehicle is to be judged in three different categories:Vehicle Design, Drag Race Event, and Endurance Events.

Vehicle Design Competition: Officials are interested in the design process that engineering teams follow to produce their vehicles. Judges will conduct design judging separate from and without regard to vehilce performance on the test course with an emphasis on originality and soundness of the design. Judging will be based on: a written report, an oral presentation, and examination of the vehicle.

Drag Race Competition: This is a gender specific race with separate scores kept for each university's male and female riders competing in the competition. The drag race itself is a two phase event comprised of: a single-elimination qualifying race and a double-elimination tournament drag race. All vehicles are required to compete in the qualifying race, after which the sixteen fastest vehicles will then advance to the double-elimination drag race tournament.

Endurance Challenge: The endurance event is one in which competitors will race in a grand prix style road race and will run for 2.5 hours. Vehicles must start the race with a female rider(s) who must complete at least 5 kilometers. No individual can compete in the vehicle for more than 20 kilometers, and all laps by any individual must be continuous. At the end of the 2.5 hours each team will complete the lap they are on and the scoring will commence.

Rules for the Challenge

Here is a brief summary of the rules for the competition in April. For your convenience you can find the complete set of rules by clicking here: ASME HPVC West Challenge Rules & Regulations

Or you can download the entire set of rules in .pdf format by clicking on this link. DOWNLOAD RULES.

ASME sponsors the Human Powered Vehicle Competition in hopes of finding a design that can be used for everyday activities ranging from commuting to and from work to going to the grocery store. Senior engineering students can use this competition for their capstone project and with their efforts design and construct a fast, sleek, and safe vehicle capable of road use.

The competition includes two classes of vehicles

  • Unrestricted - The unrestricted vehicle will compete in all events.
  • Speed - The speed class vehicles will compete in all events EXCEPT the Utility Endurance Event.


All vehicles in all classes of competition are required to have a full or partial aerodynamic fairing. This fairing must be built such that it clearly displays the provided number assigned to the vehicle and the ASME logo. The number and logo must be displayed on every fairing in front of the rider and must be visible from both sides of the vehicle.


All vehicles and teams in all classes must abide by all the safety requirements.

  1. Make a complete stop in a distance of 20 feet or less from a speed of 15 miles per hour.
  2. Travel is a straight line for 100 feet.
  3. Negotiate a turn within a 25-foot radius.
  4. Provide rollover protection for riders and stokers, equivalent to being able to sustain a top load of 600 lb applied to the top of the roll bar; directed downward and aft (towards the rear of the vehicle) at an angle of 12° from the vertical. In addition to sustaining a top load, the RPS (rollover protection system) must also sustain a side load of 300 lb applied horizontally to the side of the roll bar at shoulder height.
  5. Wear helmets that meet given standards. 
  6. Wear seat belts or shoulder harnesses, in accordance to the ASME HPV competition rulebook.
  7. Show that all surfaces of the vehicle, both exterior and interior region of the rider(s), are free from sharp edges and protrusions.
   Vehicles found unsafe during inspection or anytime of the competition will be removed from the competition until the problem has been resolved.


Energy Storage

The use of energy storage devices by Speed Class vehicles is prohibited. Normal operating components involved in the drive train are specifically permitted in as much as their design is not primarily influenced by energy storage considerations. Unrestricted Class vehicles will be allowed to store regenerative energy. Prior to every event, they must show that their energy-storing device has no initial energy stored. All of the energy stored by the device must be a result of the vehicle being in motion.


The design event will include vehicles from both classes. Judges will consider both the formal written report and the oral presentation when reviewing vehicle designs. There will be an emphasis on originality and the soundness of the design. The focus will be the new work that has been completed in the last year.

Drag Race

The Drag event will include Unrestricted and Speed class vehicles. The event will be gender specific. Each class of vehicle will hold separate events. Each event will be comprised of a preliminary qualifying race where a female and male rider will complete a single timed lap. The fastest 16 male riders and the fastest 16 female riders will then compete in a drag race style double-elimination tournament.


The Speed Endurance event will involve both categories of vehicles. Unrestricted and Speed class vehicles will compete in grand prix style road races that will run for 2.5 hours. Vehicles must start the event with female rider (s) who must complete at least 5 kilometers. No individual can compete in the vehicle for more than 20 kilometers, and all laps by any individual must be consecutive. When the lead vehicle crosses the finish line, each team will be allowed to finish the lap it is on to end the competition.

The Utility Endurance event includes Unrestricted class vehicles only. The course will cover a distance of approximately 1 kilometer and will include obstacles such as a driveway entry ramp, speed bumps, stop signs, and "head in" parking. Along with these obstacles, the rider will be required to dismount his/her vehicle to pick up parcels or packages as well as drop them off. The event is over when all vehicles have completed their current lap after time has been called.

The specifications for each event, including the mandatory use of female riders, can be found in the rulebook. How the scores are tallied for each event and vehicle can also be found in the rules. Forms for registration, certifications, and eligibility, along with others are all included in the appendix of the rulebook. To avoid disqualification, competing teams are strongly encouraged to become familiar with all the rules and regulations.