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A driverless shuttle has come to Cary

A driverless shuttle with open doors.
Sharryse Piggott
CASSI shuttle parked at the Cary Senior Center.

The three-month pilot program from NCDOT and the Town of Cary aims to reduce carbon emissions.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Town of Cary have launched a self-driving shuttle called CASSI that will operate at Bond Park.

CASSI stands for Connected Autonomous Shuttle Supporting Innovation. Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said by using electric power, the CASSI shuttle will reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

“It will help us mitigate the effects of climate change, and that’s a big goal for Cary," he said.

CASSI is free to ride and will make four stops on a fixed route using remote-sensing laser technology. Those stops include Cary Senior Center and Bond Park Community Center.

A similar shuttle was previously piloted in Raleigh and Kill Devil Hills. While the eight-seat shuttle does not have a driver, a trained attendant will always be present to assist passengers and can take over in case of an emergency.

Jerry Jensen, Cary's director of transportation, said this technology is already present in the U.S. and globally.

“And, we feel like this particular type of technology could be very valuable to support our transit services in Cary and will be a supplement to it," he said.

This CASSI program, a three-month pilot, followsGovernor Roy Cooper's executive order for NCDOT to develop a plan for increased access to clean transportation options.

CASSI will run weekdays until June 2.

Sharryse Piggott is WUNC’s PM Reporter.
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