Self-driving vehicle tested at Wright Brothers Memorial

By on April 20, 2021


(National Park Service)

The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the National Park Service (NPS) today announced the launch of the first self-driving vehicle to be tested at a recreational public lands site in the nation. Fittingly, the Connected Autonomous Shuttle Supporting Innovation, or CASSI, was launched at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills – the site of the world’s first powered flight.

“This is a huge day for transportation,” Eric Boyette, the state’s Transportation Secretary, said during Tuesday’s launch at the memorial. “We’ve come such a long way since the Wright Brothers made their first historic flight here more than a century ago. Just like that milestone, we think the CASSI represents the start of another revolution for transportation.”

The CASSI will help the NPS and NCDOT learn more about how driverless vehicles can be safely and effectively used in the future. The CASSI will be tested at the Wright Brothers National Memorial for three months.

“Wright Brothers National Memorial is excited about building upon the Wright brothers’ legacy of transportation innovation through this first-of-its-kind shuttle demonstration and through a successful partnership with NCDOT,” said David Hallac, superintendent, National Parks of Eastern North Carolina.”

Autonomous vehicles use cutting-edge technology to operate without a driver. However, as part of this pilot, a trained customer service operator will ride in the vehicle to ensure the safety of passengers. The operator will monitor conditions and be able to manually stop the vehicle at any time.

From today through July 16, the vehicle will take passengers from the Wright Brothers National Memorial museum to the First Flight bronze sculpture and back.

Rides are free. However, the number of passengers is limited due to the size of the vehicle and space limitations due to COVID-19. Passengers will be asked to follow COVID-19 safety protocols during rides, including mask wearing and physical distancing. The vehicle operates at speeds between 8 mph and 12 mph.

The vehicle was originally introduced at the 2020 Transportation Summit in Raleigh and then it was piloted at N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus last spring. More information can be found on NCDOT’s website and the National Park Service’s Wright Brothers National Memorial website. The NCDOT is leasing the vehicle from EasyMile.



Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).



  • Jeff

    And this is needed why?

    Tuesday, Apr 20 @ 4:52 pm
  • Just Sayin

    Gotta spend the money because we have so much

    Tuesday, Apr 20 @ 6:58 pm
  • hightider

    Let’s hope it works better than the Tesla in Houston that wrecked and took 4 hours to put out the fire because the batteries kept re-igniting. Hopefully this was a gift and not purchased. What’s wrong with walking?

    Tuesday, Apr 20 @ 9:34 pm
  • Lemonshirt


    Thursday, Apr 22 @ 4:47 pm