Research Triangle Park - innovation through automated mobility
The Research Triangle area is blessed to be most educated large metro region in the United States according to Forbes. Given that we are the home of three Tier 1 research universities and Research Triangle Park, the largest research park in North America, that is not particularly surprising.
Research Triangle Park is also home to two different segments of the most advanced turnpike in America, the Triangle Expressway freeway. The 70 MPH turnpike was the first new toll road in the United States designed at the outset for automated toll collection, and it is currently the most "interoperable" in the US, accepting transponders from the northeast/mid-Atlantic/Midwest (E-ZPASS) and southeast (Florida SunPass, Georgia PeachPass NC QuickPass), with seamless linkages to more states on the way.
As a result, the North Carolina Turnpike Authority was recently named one of ten automated vehicle proving grounds in the nation, out of more than 60 applicants. Several groups in the Research Triangle area -- including the Regional Transportation Alliance business coalition -- are partners in the effort.
This is a great opportunity for the Turnpike - and "the Park" - to lead in the emerging technology area of safe, autonomous vehicle operation for personal mobility and potentially transit and commerce.
With a national autonomous vehicle proving ground designation for the Turnpike, we have the opportunity to be on the ground floor of technology change, and that is exactly what this market, and Research Triangle Park, must continue to be known for.