RALEIGH – The U.S. Department of Transportation recently designated North Carolina as a proving ground pilot site for the testing of automated vehicle technologies.
“The North Carolina Turnpike Authority, with its world-class facility, partnerships and research, is proud to serve as a designated automated vehicle proving ground,” Acting Transportation Secretary Mike Holder said. “We are committed to ensuring the safety of the traveling public and the state’s roadways as we test this technology.”
The state’s turnpike authority was selected from a competitive group of more than 60 applicants, including academic institutions, other state transportation departments, cities, as well as private entities and partnerships.
National transportation officials say the sites chosen all have different facilities that can be used to gauge safety, manage various roadways and conditions, and handle various types of vehicles.
“The Triangle Expressway, with its access to three Tier 1 research universities and the largest research park in North America, make it the ideal location for this pilot program,” said Turnpike Authority Executive Director Beau Memory. “As safety is our number one priority, we believe this opportunity will allow us to learn how to best keep our customers safe with this emerging technology.”
In addition to the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, other designees include:
City of Pittsburgh and the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute
Texas AV Proving Grounds Partnership
U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center
American Center for Mobility (ACM) at Willow Run
Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) & GoMentum Station
San Diego Association of Governments
Iowa City Area Development Group
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Central Florida Automated Vehicle Partners