The N.C. Department of Transportation is putting out a call seeking information from the public on new and advanced technologies to improve transportation.
NCDOT’s Aviation and Integrated Mobility divisions released requests for information, or RFIs, on Friday, Jan. 26 to identify and explore new ground and air vehicle technologies. State officials expect to use what they learn from the two RFIs to inform their future decisions about zero-emission aircraft and automated ground vehicles. Both RFIs will be open until Feb. 19.
“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 press release. “This collaborative effort between the Aviation and Integrated Mobility divisions is a great example of our dedication to understanding and planning for the state’s future transportation landscape.”
NCDOT officials hope that anyone with an interest in helping shape the future of transportation will respond to the requests for information.
NCDOT deployed its first automated shuttle in 2020 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. Staff in NCDOT’s Integrated Mobility Division seek to use the Integrated Mobility RFI to build on their knowledge for the next generation of automated vehicle pilot projects. State officials anticipate that the RFI’s findings will inform their selection of new vehicles, locations, use cases, and vendors for future projects.
On the aviation side, NCDOT is helping pioneer the use of zero-emission aircraft in the state’s aviation system. NCDOT staff have participated in the Federal Aviation Administration’s BEYOND Program since 2020. The program provides NCDOT with opportunities to conduct operations using unmanned aircraft systems and build partnerships in the advanced air mobility field. NCDOT officials hope the Aviation RFI will help them better understand the costs, requirements and capabilities associated with these aircraft and how they could support the division’s diverse needs.
The requests for information are part of NCDOT’s ongoing Advance Mobility NC campaign. As part of Advance Mobility NC, NCDOT’s Aviation, Integrated Mobility and Rail divisions aim to create a multimodal transportation system that improves the mobility of people and freight.
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