Theses and Dissertations

Toward a Bio-Inspired System Architecting Framework: Simulation of the Integration of Autonomous Bus Fleets & Alternative Fuel Infrastructures in Closed Sociotechnical Environments

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Systems Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Robert Cloutier, Ph.D.


Cities are set to become highly interconnected and coordinated environments composed of emerging technologies meant to alleviate or resolve some of the daunting issues of the 21st century such as rapid urbanization, resource scarcity, and excessive population demand in urban centers. These cybernetically-enabled built environments are expected to solve these complex problems through the use of technologies that incorporate sensors and other data collection means to fuse and understand large sums of data/information generated from other technologies and its human population. Many of these technologies will be pivotal assets in supporting and managing capabilities in various city sectors ranging from energy to healthcare. However, among these sectors, a significant amount of attention within the recent decade has been in the transportation sector due to the flood of new technological growth and cultivation, which is currently seeing extensive research, development, and even implementation of emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles (AVs), the Internet of Things (IoT), alternative xxxvi fueling sources, clean propulsion technologies, cloud/edge computing, and many other technologies. Within the current body of knowledge, it is fairly well known how many of these emerging technologies will perform in isolation as stand-alone entities, but little is known about their performance when integrated into a transportation system with other emerging technologies and humans within the system organization. This merging of new age technologies and humans can make analyzing next generation transportation systems extremely complex to understand. Additionally, with new and alternative forms of technologies expected to come in the near-future, one can say that the quantity of technologies, especially in the smart city context, will consist of a continuously expanding array of technologies whose capabilities will increase with technological advancements, which can change the performance of a given system architecture. Therefore, the objective of this research is to understand the system architecture implications of integrating different alternative fueling infrastructures with autonomous bus (AB) fleets in the transportation system within a closed sociotechnical environment. By being able to understand the system architecture implications of alternative fueling infrastructures and AB fleets, this could provide performance-based input into a more sophisticated approach or framework which is proposed as a future work of this research.

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