The Drivers and Opportunities phase of the NC Moves 2050 plan looks at possible changes and uncertainties that could affect North Carolina's future. Different drivers and opportunities, referred to as trends, will affect North Carolina's growth and development.
Understanding the potential impacts of these trends helps inform what the future may look like, which helps with developing strategies and recommendations.
This phase of the plan explores emerging trends within eight different topics that shape North Carolina’s transportation. Research and interviews with experts in each subject provide insight into what the future may hold. The topics include:
Key Findings from Research Topics
The findings show that possible future trends will not happen evenly or at the same rate throughout the North Carolina. Transportation technologies, for example, might occur faster or slower in different areas. This could create new opportunities and/or challenges in various regions of the state.
New technologies, such as self-driving vehicles and mobile apps (such as Uber and Lyft), might transform how transportation providers, like the N.C. Department of Transportation, perform. Making choices about when or where to use new technology can be overwhelming with the fast pace of change.
Additionally, changes in demographics show the current and future workforce is closely tied to the state’s future economy. As urban areas grow larger and become more diverse, the rural population is growing older.
Climate change experts report that extreme weather events are occurring more frequently in many parts of the country. NCDOT must prepare for these events, coordinate closely with other agencies and ensure infrastructure such as bridges and roads will withstand harsher conditions in the future.
NCDOT partners with many public agencies and private organizations to help inform policies and project-level decisions. As the process of delivering transportation becomes more complex, the department will need to develop and strengthen partnerships to continue to produce effective solutions.
More information on each of the eight research topics can be found in the
Drivers and Opportunities fact sheets.