aircushion vehicle


[vee-i-kuhl or, sometimes, vee-hi-]

Vehicles, derived from the Latin word, vehiculum, are non-living means of transport. Most often they are manufactured (e.g. bicycles, cars, motorcycles, trains, ships, boats, and aircraft), although some other means of transport which are not made by humans also may be called vehicles; examples include icebergs and floating tree trunks.

Vehicles may be propelled or pulled by animals, for instance, a chariot, a stagecoach, a mule-drawn barge, or an ox-cart. However, animals on their own, though used as a means of transport, are not called vehicles, but rather beasts of burden or draft animals. This distinction includes humans carrying another human, for example a child or a disabled person.

A rickshaw is a vehicle that may carry a human and be powered by a human, but it is the mechanical form or cart that is powered by the human that is labeled as the vehicle. For some human-powered vehicles the human providing the power is labeled as a driver.

Vehicles that do not travel on land often are called craft, such as watercraft, sailcraft, aircraft, hovercraft, and spacecraft

Land vehicles are classified broadly by what is used to apply steering and drive forces against the ground: wheeled, tracked, railed, or skied.


see Bicycles (see also Vehicular Cycling)
see main article History of the bicycle


see Tricycle


see Quadricycle


see Velomobile

Electric road carriages

see electric vehicle
see history of the electric vehicle

Steam road carriage

see steam car

Steam tricycle

See steam tricycle
At the other end of the scale, much lighter steam vehicles have been constructed such as the steam tricycle from the Comte de Dion in 1887.

Petroleum (gasoline / diesel) motor-carriages

See Benz Patent Motorwagen
See Ford's model T
See Automobile

Road trains

A road train consists of a conventional heavy truck pulling three trailers or more, used in rural areas of Australia to move bulky loads such as livestock efficiently.

The motorcycle

See Motorcycle
See Gottlieb Daimler

Mechanical rail-vehicles

see Trains
see Trams

Mechanical road vehicles

see Cars
see Buses
see Trucks
see Vans

Mechanical water vehicles

see Boats
see Ships

Mechanical under-water vehicles

see submarines
see submersibles
see diving bells
see diving chambers

Mechanical land and water vehicles

see Amphibious vehicle
see Amphibious ATV
see Hovercraft

Mechanical air vehicles

see aircraft
see Wing-In-Ground effect vehicle

Mechanical snow vehicles

see snowmobile

Types of vehicles


European Union

In the European Union the classifications for vehicle types are defined by :

  • Commission Directive 2001/116/EC of 20 December 2001, adapting to technical progress Council Directive 70/156/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the type-approval of motor vehicles and their trailers
  • Directive 2002/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 March 2002 relating to the type-approval of two or three-wheeled motor vehicles and repealing Council Directive 92/61/EEC

European Community, is based on the Community's WVTA (whole vehicle type-approval) system. Under this system, manufacturers can obtain certification for a vehicle type in one Member State if it meets the EC technical requirements and then market it EU-wide with no need for further tests. Total technical harmonization already has been achieved in three vehicle categories (passenger cars, motorcycles, and tractors) and soon will be extended to other vehicle categories (coaches and utility vehicles). It is essential that European car manufacturers be ensured access to as large a market as possible.

While the Community type-approval system allows manufacturers to benefit fully from the opportunities offered by the internal market, worldwide technical harmonization in the context of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) offers them a market which extends beyond European borders.


Acronyms and abbreviations

See also

Main: List of basic vehicle topics


External links

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