Electronics and Semiconductors

National Park Service launches self-driving shuttle service in NC

22 April 2021
The autonomous shuttle pilot will run through a fixed route in the Wright Brothers Memorial using lidar and GPS to map its location. Source: NPS

The National Park Service (NPS) and the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) have launched what it calls the first self-driving vehicle to be tested at a recreational public lands site.

Called the Connected Autonomous Shuttle Supporting Innovation (CASSI), the autonomous shuttles are designed to help NPS to learn about how driverless vehicles can be safely and effectively used on park lands. CASSI was launched at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, the site of the first powered flight.

While the autonomous shuttles do not need a driver or contain any cockpit or steering wheel, as part of the pilot, a trained operator will ride in the vehicle for passenger safety. The operator will monitor conditions of the vehicle and can manually stop the shuttle at any time. The vehicle operates at speeds between 8 mph and 12 mph.

CASSI will navigate through a fixed route around the Wright Brothers Memorial, museum shop and sculpture shop, dropping off passengers along the way. The shuttle will use lidar and GPS to map the route. Sensors will scan the shuttle’s surroundings and signal it to stop when an obstacle is too close. NCDOT is working with TransLoc for real-time tracking software and a map to keep riders updated on the location of the shuttles on the NCDOT’s website.

The pilot, which will last through July 16, will collect information such as the number of passengers, trips and battery use of the shuttle, NPS said. This data will be used to better understand how these vehicles perform for future pilots or deployments.

The shuttle rides are free but the number of passengers per shuttle trip is limited given the size of the vehicle and space limitations because of COVID-19.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com


Powered by CR4, the Engineering Community

Discussion – 0 comments

By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and Terms of Use.
Engineering Newsletter Signup
Get the Engineering360
Stay up to date on:
Features the top stories, latest news, charts, insights and more on the end-to-end electronics value chain.
Advertisement
Weekly Newsletter
Get news, research, and analysis
on the Electronics industry in your
inbox every week - for FREE
Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter
Advertisement
Find Free Electronics Datasheets
Advertisement