An air taxi, also known as an autonomous aerial vehicle, was on display at the State Highway Patrol Driving Facility on East Tryon Road.
It would be used as passenger transport or cargo transport.
Gov. Roy Cooper said Morgan Stanley estimates say there could be $1 trillion of economic impact across the country.
Air taxis are already being used in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, but Tuesday's test marks the first time the vehicles have been demonstrated in North America.