North Carolina Today
When the N.C. Department of Transportation formed in 1915, the state’s population was just over 2.5 million. The Wright Brothers had made their historic flights only 12 years prior. Streetcars would run through Raleigh and Charlotte for another 20 years before giving into the popularity of personal vehicles.
The world has changed drastically over the past 100 years, though one only needs to look back to the past 20 years to see how much the transportation industry has changed.
The Global Positioning System (GPS) has greatly improved navigation and is available to many people using mobile phones. On-demand ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft deliver you when and where you need to go in most regions of the state. Improvements in logistics means that packages from around the world are often delivered within two days or less. Infrastructure for self-driving cars and high-speed rail in North Carolina seem only years away.
The amount of change over the past 20 years highlights the importance of looking ahead so we can prepare for the upcoming challenges and opportunities.