North Carolina Chosen as Testing Ground for Self-Driving Vehicles

The Triangle Expressway provides access to several research universities and RTP

North Carolina Chosen as Testing Ground for Self-Driving Vehicles
Image: Tesla
January 23, 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has chosen North Carolina as one of the sites for testing self-driving vehicles.

"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."

More than 60 sites applied to participate in the program.

According to national transportation officials, the sites chosen each have different facilities that can be used to measure safety, manage different kinds of roadways and driving conditions, and handle different 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."

The DOT has not announced when the tests will start.

Other sites chosen to participate in the program include the City of Pittsburgh and the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute, the Texas AV Proving Grounds Partnership, the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center, the American Center for Mobility (ACM) at Willow Run, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) & GoMentum Station, the San Diego Association of Governments, the Iowa City Area Development Group, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Central Florida Automated Vehicle Partners.