Centrally located between Tampa and Orlando in Polk County, Florida, SunTrax is a large-scale, state-of-the-art facility being developed by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (FTE), dedicated to the research, development and testing of emerging transportation technologies in safe and controlled environments. 

 

  • Its mission is to advance technology solutions which improve the safety and efficiency of transportation.

     

  • Its vision is to be a continuously evolving, nationally recognized center for the development of innovative transportation solutions.

 

The SunTrax Facility

SunTrax is situated on 475 acres and is composed of a 2.25-mile-long oval test track around a 200-acre infield. The multi-lane track will make it the only high-speed autonomous vehicle (AV) testing facility in the southeastern United States. In the infield, there will be multiple simulated transportation environments, including:

 

  • An urban area to simulate intersection configurations and complex lighting, signing, and signalization conditions,
  • A 20-acre open paved technology pad providing the ability to replicate nearly any real-world geometric configuration and perform endless test scenarios
  • A roadway geometry track made up of complex horizontal and vertical curves, plus irregular grade changes, and
  • A pick-up/drop-off area to replicate various multi-modal passenger transfers, such as airports and transit centers.

 

The intent is to maximize the site’s flexibility and variability, providing as many challenging environments as possible for the testing of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) and other emerging technologies. The entire site will be a connected environment for the testing of vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), and vehicle-to-anything (V2X) communications. SunTrax will also have a unique tolls technology testing component, with four all-electronic toll gantries and supporting infrastructure being constructed. FTE will conduct its tolls testing on the site, both on existing hardware and software systems and future generations of tolling equipment and payment systems.

 

Project Phases

SunTrax is being developed in two phases. The first phase of construction will allow FTE to continue testing all types of current and future toll technology.  It includes the construction of a 2.25-mile multi-lane test high-speed track, four toll gantries, an operations building facility, a storage building facility, and an access road from Braddock Road to the SunTrax site. The infield of the track will be preserved for future development during this first phase of construction. Construction began in July 2017, and is expected to be complete in spring 2019.

 

Phase two includes the infield of the track, which will focus on CAV testing features which have been designed based on extensive input from potential users and industry partners. Construction of the infield is expected to begin in summer 2019, and conclude in spring 2021. 

The SunTrax site is surrounded by several hundred acres of developable property in an area that is actively pursuing growth from high tech industries. It is directly adjacent to FTE’s Polk Parkway (SR 540) and less than two miles away from Florida Polytechnic University, which is solely dedicated to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs. It is also convenient to FTE’s headquarters and the Tampa and Orlando metropolitan areas.

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For additional information, please contact Paul Satchfield at Paul.Satchfield@dot.state.fl.us or check out their website at http://www.suntraxfl.com/