Gold Sponsors

Downtown Greensboro Incorporated (DGI) is an economic development organization focused on stimulating investment and activity in the Greensboro center city. Greensboro is the third largest city in North Carolina, home to nearly 300,000 residents.There is a growing residential community of about 21,000 people in and around Downtown, as well as about 45,000 college and university students on four campuses within a mile of Downtown.

DGI supports North Carolina Transportation Center of Excellence in Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Technology (NC-CAV) by providing funding and logistics needed for Pilot programs for testing, demonstrating, and adapting shuttle in dedicated AV route that connects Downtown and North Carolina A&T.

Our college’s partnerships with private industry and government are critical to our ability to engineer effective solutions to the complex challenges facing Greensboro, the nation and the world,” said COE dean Robin N. Coger, Ph.D. “This transportation-focused collaboration with DGI is exciting, and we are looking forward to the impact of the results that will be produced as we continue to work together.

Autonomous Shuttle Connectors are included as an exciting part of DGI’s 2030 Vision Plan. According to DGI’s 2030 Vision Plan, improving access and mobility to and through Downtown is fundamental to its growth and ongoing success. Affordable and flexible transit service is will make it easier for residents, visitors and students to get to Downtown and its many destinations without driving. Unlike light rail or other infrastructure-heavy transit, solutions, shuttles can easily change routes and adapt over time. Employing emerging technology for autonomous vehicles will elevate Greensboro’s status as a center for innovation while fulfilling practical, daily mobility needs.

This will be achieved through the following objectives:

  • Improve east-west connections between UNC Greensboro, Downtown, and North Carolina A&T

  • Bring more students Downtown for recreation, housing and employment

  • Facilitate interaction between the city’s two largest campus communities

  • Improve the safety and function of key routes throughout Downtown

  • Leverage ongoing investments and innovation from A&T

As stated in the DOWNTOWN GREENSBORO 2030 STRATEGIC VISION, dedicated traffic lanes will be considered for autonomous vehicles (AVs) and self-driving shuttles in the first phase. It is envisioned that shuttles can easily change routes and adapt over time. NC-CAV Center will contribute to this plan by employing emerging technology for autonomous vehicles to provide on-demand mobility services using self-driving shuttles.

A route (shown in green) that connects the East-West connections between UNC Greensboro, Downtown, and North Carolina A&T has been selected as a candidate route for self-driving shuttles.

DGI’s investment will pave a way toward more agile, flexible and affordable transportation in the downtown area as well as enhance the connection between the campus and city while providing opportunities to promote economic stimulus for future growth. This partnership is also aligned with A&T’s strategic plan, “A&T Preeminence: Taking the Momentum to 2023,” for national and regional community engagement and DGI’s 2030 Vision Plan to incorporate the use of autonomous vehicles in downtown Greensboro.

We’re excited to be a part of this trailblazing and revolutionary form of transportation,” said Zack Matheny, DGI president and CEO and NC-CAV advisory board member. “One of the proposed Big Moves of the 2030 Vision Plan is to incorporate the use of autonomous vehicles, which is an innovative step that will set Greensboro apart from other cities, attract new businesses to the area, and retain talented students who are prepared to make an impact as they enter the workforce.

A&T has proven regionally and nationally to be one of the leading universities in autonomy, transportation and the automotive industry. “This collaboration makes it possible to have Greensboro as one of the pioneer cities in the nation that is practicing deployment of autonomous vehicles as part of the roadmap to become a smart city with a smart transportation system,” said Ali Karimoddini, Ph.D., NC-CAV director and COE associate professor.

DGI’s 2030 Vision Plan phase plan for adopting selfdriving shuttles.