North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has launched a new research pilot program featuring a fleet of self-driving vehicles. The program, which aims to study the use of autonomous vehicles for public and rural transportation, is open to students, faculty, staff, and community members.
The fleet consists of three self-driving shuttles, a self-driving van, and two regular sedans. These vehicles are capable of performing all driving tasks under specific circumstances, and have the ability for a human driver to take control if necessary. The university ensures that the cars are compliant with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
Dr. Ali Karimoddini, Professor and Director of the CR2C2 Regional University Transportation Center at North Carolina A&T, emphasizes the importance of using self-driving vehicles for public and rural transportation. He states that while many companies are developing autonomous vehicles, not many are focused on their application in these areas. The university’s research team aims to address this gap.
During the pilot program, feedback from riders will be collected and used to improve the research and enhance the safety of the autonomous vehicles. The program will be open to the public on weekdays from September 19th to October 13th, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The one-mile ride will begin at the Harold L. Martin Sr. Engineering Research and Innovation Complex, and conclude at the Miriam P. Brenner Children’s Museum.
Overall, North Carolina A&T’s research pilot program with its new fleet of self-driving vehicles serves as an opportunity to explore the potential of autonomous transportation for public and rural areas. Additional efforts are being made to focus on this particular application of self-driving technology, and the feedback from riders will contribute to its continued development.
– Dr. Ali Karimoddini, Professor and Director, CR2C2 Regional University Transportation Center at North Carolina A&T