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A cycle rickshaw or pedicab (known in other languages as becak or cyclo) are a type of tricycle for carrying passengers, and occasionally small loads. They are often hired, the passengers driven as in a taxi, but are human-powered, the work being done by the driver. Cycle rickshaws are common in South, Southeast and East Asia.
In some cities they are banned, or banned from certain areas, as they can be relatively slow and are blamed for holding up traffic. Where this is the case, it suggests that there is a problem with traffic congestion from car dependence.
Motorized pedicabs (including motorcycles with sidecar) also exist.
Pedal powered pedicabs
Pedal-powered pedicabs are a clean, quiet form of transport.
Traditional pedal-powered pedicabs are still in use in many Asian cities. It is generally hard, low-paid work for the drivers. They typically reach a low speed relative to other traffic, making them less attractive for long journeys (more than 5 or 10 minutes).
The performance (speed and easy of pedaling) would be improved by: improved streamlining (now only used in limited models used in the West[verification needed]) and a method of capturing braking energy. If affordable ways could be found to do these things, without compromising comfort, safety or affordability.[Suggested project]
Motorized pedicabs and auto rickshaws
Motorized pedicabs and auto-rickshaws provide an economical transport service, and are able to keep up with traffic speed better than pedal-powered pedicabs, while still able to squeeze through gaps in traffic where cars cannot fit. They use less fuel than cars, and are cheap forms of transport, though they cause noticeable air pollution, most obviously particulates in their their smoky exhausts, and they are generally very noisy.
In some cases motorized pedicabs they consist of a motorcycle with a passenger section attached, while in Cambodia they are in the form of a motorcycle and trailer (see Wikipedia: Tuk-tuk #Cambodian Tuk-tuks).
Auto rickshaws,W such as the well-known tuk-tukW in Thailand, are three-wheeled transport common particularly in Asian cities, but have recently (2006) been introduced to Brighton & Hove, England (see Wikipedia: Autorickshaw #Auto_rickshaws_in_England).
- In late 2006 or early 2007, poster advertisements appeared in Sydney city seeking drivers for what appeared to be modern, streamlined looking pedicabs.
- E.g. a closed-in streamlined pod would be very uncomfortable at midday in the tropics
- E.g. braking energy capture must not interfere with the effective operation of brakes.
- devices to capture braking energy are usually very expensive. Is there a way of capturing at least some of the energy with a simple, low-cost design?
- the smoky exhausts are a result of their 2-stroke engines.W