Self-driving cars are still on NC Turnpike Authority’s radar

The toll road that runs from Research Triangle Park south to Holly Springs is one of 10 places around the country and the only one in North Carolina that the U.S. Department of Transportation has designated as “proving grounds” for automated vehicles. The federal government chose the 10 from more than 60 groups that wanted to host autonomous vehicle testing.

The Turnpike Authority and the N.C. Department of Transportation say hosting a site for autonomous vehicle testing will allow them to learn about technology that is already showing up on the state’s highways and will only become more common and sophisticated. By having the testing done here, highway engineers can learn from the car companies what changes may be needed to pavement markings, signs and other aspects of a road to ensure the technology works as intended, said Dennis Jernigan, the Turnpike Authority’s director of highway operations.