Driver-less shuttle offers rides in Cary's Bond Metro Park

On Tuesday, local and state officials celebrated the launch of a self-driving shuttle, which will be used to demonstrate the future of public transportation.

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CARY, N.C. — Cary leaders took a ride Tuesday in what they believe will be the future of transportation. It's a low-speed electric shuttle vehicle with no driver in the front seat. "CASSI," an acronym for "Connected Autonomous Shuttle Supporting Innovation," travels 12 mph on a fixed route through Fred G. Bond Metro Park. The vehicle is similar to a self-driving shuttle that was tested for the first time in Raleigh three years ago.

Sarah Searcy, NCDOT's "CASSI" manager said, "These vehicles are shared, they're autonomous, they're electric connected and accessible."

“We know that autonomous, electric vehicles are the future of transportation. It’s important that we have opportunities to demonstrate to North Carolinians the next revolution in travel," said state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette.

The project is part of a state pilot project. A similar driverless shuttle was piloted under the CASSI program on N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh in 2020 and at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills in 2021.

The shuttle will help Cary and NCDOT learn more about how shared, autonomous vehicles can be safely and effectively used in the future.

The shuttle will run weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until June 2. Rides are free.

Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht says CASSI is just one of many environmental initiatives. He hopes to have an electric fleet in the next 10 to 15 years. The mayor said, "That will reduce our carbon emissions and help with the climate change crisis that the world faces today, so this is just one of those steps."

The shuttle uses cutting-edge technology to operate without a driver. However, as part of this project, a trained attendant will always be present to take control of the vehicle, if needed, to ensure the safety of the passengers. The attendant will also answer questions and assist passengers using wheelchairs or mobility devices.

Sensors continuously scan the shuttle’s surroundings and signal for it to stop when an obstacle is too close.

Weinbrect said, "When my one year old grandson is my age, he'll think that people driving cars are unusual and unique."

The shuttle was manufactured by French-based Navya and operated by Florida-based Beep.

To learn more about the vehicle and the project, go to and


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