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Florida Poly and FDOT team up on SunTrax testing facility

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Who knows: Florida Polytechnic University could be where one of the self-driving cars of the future is tested.

The school and the Florida Department of Transportation on Monday agreed to partner on the creation of a new “transportation technology testing facility” to be called SunTrax.

SunTrax will include a 2.25 mile oval track on a 400-acre site in Polk County, located between Tampa and Orlando.

“The creation of this facility will establish Florida as a transportation technology leader and create a high-tech hub for the research, development and testing of emerging transportation technologies related to tolling, intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and automated and connected vehicles,” a press release said.

“The construction of the oval track will be designed to support high speed testing of toll technologies, with multiple lanes and parallel tolled express lanes similar to those being constructed on many current highway widening projects throughout the state,” it said.

“The approximately 200-acre infield of the track will be developed next, and is expected to become a hub for automated and connected vehicle testing,” the release added. “The infield will be developed in partnership with Florida Poly, allowing the University to offer its students unique opportunities to participate in the research, development and testing of cutting edge technologies.

“A few of the features that would likely be included are a learning laboratory, a simulated city center, suburban and rural roadways, interconnected signalized intersections, interchange ramps, roundabouts, various types of pavement, and many others.”

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