Self-driving shuttles debut at Wright Brothers National Memorial

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. (WTVD) -- As the site of the first human flight, Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina is no stranger to innovation.

Now, the Outer Banks destination is blazing ahead with another futuristic idea: self-driving shuttles.

"Another Wright Brothers moment. A very exciting day in terms of the first pilot project of an autonomous shuttle in a national park," Superintendent for National Parks in Eastern North Carolina David Hallac said.

The Wright Brothers National Memorial recently introduced CASSI -- Connected Autonomous Shuttle Supporting Innovation.

For the next three months, these self-driving shuttles will transport visitors around the site.

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CASSI will always have a park employee on board, but that employee will not be driving.

"There's a number of sensors, LIDAR technology, GPS technology that work together to provide data to the vehicle so it can stay on the track that's been mapped," Ryan Brumfield with NCDOT said.

The three-month trial will test the effectiveness and safety of the self-driving shuttles.

"It's very, very likely these autonomous shuttles several years from now or in a decade from now will be the norm," Hallac said.
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