The North Carolina Department of Transportation recently issued several requests for information or RFIs as it seeks to identify and test new ground and air transport technologies.
[Above photo by NCDOT]
Those RFIs – issued by the NCDOT’s Aviation and Integrated Mobility divisions – aim to help inform state transportation officials about the future potential of zero-emission aircraft and automated ground vehicles. Both RFIs will be open until February 19, the agency noted.
“As we continue to plan and build the state’s transportation infrastructure, it is important we understand how mobility is changing and how technology and innovation should be better integrated into today’s projects,” said Julie White, NCDOT deputy secretary of multimodal transportation, in a statement.
“This collaborative effort between [our] Aviation and Integrated Mobility divisions is a great example of our dedication to understanding and planning for the state’s future transportation landscape,” she added.
NCDOT has already been testing a range of new mobility technologies for several years. In 2020, the agency deployed its first automated shuttle bus with the launch of the Connected Autonomous Shuttle Supporting Innovation program, or CASSI.
The state agency has worked with several partners to test the autonomous shuttle three more times since 2020, each time incrementally increasing the complexity of its automated vehicle projects.
On the aviation side, NCDOT is helping pioneer the use of zero-emission aircraft in the state’s aviation system. For example, NCDOT has participated in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s BEYOND Program for drone testing since 2020.
That program provides NCDOT with opportunities to conduct operations using uncrewed aircraft systems and build partnerships in the advanced air mobility field, the agency said.
NCDOT added that these two RFIs are part of its ongoing Advance Mobility NC campaign, launched in May 2023. As part of that campaign, the agency said its Aviation, Integrated Mobility and Rail divisions aim to create a multimodal transportation system that improves the mobility of people and freight.