Download Full Text (947 KB)


The VCU FSAE team has a need for foot controls for the brakes and throttle on their newest race car. The assembly must meet the rules set forth by the FSAE organization to compete, and must be as light and low as possible to conserve the acceleration and handling characteristics of the car. Furthermore, the project must be completed on a budget of $500 allotted to Senior Design teams. The FSAE team has been working on the current car since 2005 and has yet to produce a drivable race car. The Senior Design teams this year cover the major systems needed to make the car run and compete in the national competition in Michigan. In order to conduct the first acceleration test, a foot control for the throttle must be present, and will soon mandate the need for control of the brakes. Goals for the pedal box include: simplicity of manufacture, durability, minimal weight, and low center of gravity. In the initial design phase, the options that would have raised the center of gravity were eliminated. Of the low-mount designs, options that would have required complex machining or non-standard parts were eliminated. Finally, any parts that could be made of lightweight materials were specified as such. The team has concluded on a robust and simple design for production. The final part of the design will be to eliminate weight through optimization, making sure that the materials are as thin as possible within a factor of safety. The results of the analysis may even show that symmetry in the 4 clamps used for repositioning the pedal assembly may be foregone in favor of fewer clamps mounted asymmetrically. Throughout this process, the design must be proven as safe given that there will be someone driving the car and –hopefully- at race-winning speeds.

Publication Date



mechanical and nuclear engineering, pedal box


Engineering | Mechanical Engineering | Nuclear Engineering

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Robert Sexton

VCU Capstone Design Expo Posters


© The Author(s)

Date of Submission

August 2015

FSAE Pedal Box: Controlling Stop and Go