Agent-Based Framework for Self-Organization of Collective and Autonomous Shuttle Fleets

Antonio Bucchiarone*, Martina De Sanctis, Nelly Bencomo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mobility of people is at the center of transportation planning and decision-making of the cities of the future. In order to accelerate the transition to zero-emissions and to maximize air quality benefits, smart cities are prioritizing walking, cycling, shared mobility services and public transport over the use of private cars. Extensive progress has been made in autonomous and electric cars. Autonomous Vehicles (AV) are increasingly capable of moving without full control of humans, automating some aspects of driving, such as steering or braking. For these reasons, cities are investing in the infrastructure and technology needed to support connected, multi-modal transit networks that include shared electric Autonomous Vehicles (AV). The relationship between traditional public transport and new mobility services is in the spotlight and need to be rethought. This article proposes an agent-based simulation framework that allows for the creation and simulation of mobility scenarios to investigate the impact of new mobility modes on a city daily life. It lets traffic planners explore the cooperative integration of AV using a decentralized control approach. A prototype has been implemented and validated with data of the city of Trento.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9199130
Pages (from-to)3631-3643
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number6
Early online date16 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

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Funding: This work was supported in part by the Leverhulme Trust under Grant RF-2019-548/9 and in part by EPSRC under Grant EP/T017627/1.


  • agent-based simulation
  • autonomous shuttles
  • self-organization
  • Transportation planning


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