Publication Date

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering


Burford Furman


Automated Transit Network, Scale model

Subject Areas

Mechanical engineering; Transportation planning


A scaled test platform has been developed for the purpose of testing, validating, and demonstrating key concepts of Automated Transit Networks (ATN). The test platform is relatively low cost, easily expandable, and it will allow future research and development to be done on control systems for ATN.

The test platform and reference vehicle were designed to adhere to a requirements document that was constructed to specify the necessary features of a fully functioning design. The work described in this thesis adheres to the phase one implementation of the requirements document. The vehicle and track were designed using commercially available computer aided design software. The prototype track was then assembled, and the vehicles were manufactured using a finite deposition three-dimensional printer. A control system was designed to control the velocity and position of the vehicle. This was accomplished using the feedback of a linear encoder that was designed and laid along the length of the track.

The vehicle functioned successfully according to the design requirements document. Testing showed that the vehicle is able to move to a specified position at a predetermined speed. Additionally, testing showed that a vehicle can maintain a specified following distance behind another vehicle within twenty millimeters. The vehicle and track can be used in the future to evaluate and validate specific questions regarding the implementation of an ATN system.