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North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has announced its largest student body ever, with 13,883 students this year. In June, Money magazine ranked A&T as the most affordable doctoral research university in the United States.

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal ranked A&T among the top five University of North Carolina (UNC) System members and recognized the university’s exceptional affordability. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges 2024” issue also recognized N.C. A&T this fall, as it is one of the 25 “most innovative” universities in America.

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The ranking was based on a survey of college and university presidents, chief academic officers, and admissions deans who were asked to nominate up to 15 campuses that are “making the most innovative improvements in curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology, or facilities.”

This week, N.C. A&T announced that its innovative Aggie Auto self-driving shuttles are heading in a new direction: Downtown Greensboro. The autonomous shuttles were unveiled last year with the university’s rural test track at Gateway North Campus.

They will now navigate a new route: the real-world obstacles of the approximately one-mile ride from the Harold L. Martin Sr. Engineering Research and Innovation Complex to the Miriam P. Brenner Children’s Museum.

Local, state, and federal leaders were among the first to experience the autonomous pilot program open to the public on weekdays from Tuesday, September 19th, through Friday, October 13th, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Under the pilot program, students, faculty, staff, and community members can take the shuttles from campus to the downtown area. This new research testbed of micro-transit vehicles will provide mobility services for connecting disconnected communities.

The fleet comprises three low-speed self-driving shuttles, a high-speed self-driving van, and two regular autonomous sedans. The shuttles can perform all driving tasks under specific circumstances, and a human driver can override and take control of the car. Additionally, the cars comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

As a historically Black university, A&T has been a leader in preparing diverse populations to enter transportation-related professions. The university is home to the first Summer Transportation Institute, now funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), which has been running successfully for 30 years.

N.C. A&T has made impressive progress across various categories in the annual guide to America’s top higher education institutions. Notably, the university has moved up by 27 positions to tie for No. 25 in the Most Innovative ranking, making it the highest-ranked HBCU and University of North Carolina System member on the list.

Other achievements include moving up in National Universities, Undergraduate Business Programs, Undergraduate Engineering Programs, and Top Public Universities. N.C. A&T is also the top producer of African-American engineers in the United States and is the highest-ranked HBCU in North Carolina.

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