Driverless cars to be tested on Wake toll road

Posted January 20

— The Triangle Expressway toll road in western Wake County will served as a proving ground to test driverless cars, officials said Friday.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently designated the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, which operates the toll road, from more than 60 applicants for one of 10 pilot sites to test automated vehicle technologies.

"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," Turnpike Authority Executive Director Beau Memory said in a statement. "As safety is our No. 1 priority, we believe this opportunity will allow us to learn how to best keep our customers safe with this emerging technology."

No details about who is conducting the tests or when they will be done were released.

National transportation officials said the 10 sites have different facilities that can be used to gauge safety, manage various roadways and conditions and handle various types of vehicles.

In addition to the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, other designees include the following:

  • 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

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  • Larry Wiandt Jan 21, 2017
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    That's like putting on a closed test track, what's the point?

  • Mo'Neesha Washington Jan 20, 2017
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    Who will pay the tolls?

  • Jim Frei Jan 20, 2017
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    With so little traffic on that road, a blind man could drive it.