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SunTrax project moves toward phase two in Polk
The Ledger ^ | June 3, 2019 | Gary White

Posted on 06/12/2019 4:29:36 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

AUBURNDALE — Florida has one of the world’s most famous asphalt ovals in the Daytona International Speedway.

A slightly smaller track recently completed in Auburndale won’t draw massive crowds for races, but it’s part of a project that could hasten the day when self-driving vehicles take over the roads. Crews finished laying asphalt for the 2¼-mile oval — phase one of SunTrax — in early May, and construction will begin in the coming months on infield elements designed for the development and testing of connected and autonomous vehicles.

The second phase of SunTrax, a project overseen by Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise (part of the Florida Department of Transportation), is scheduled for completion in 2021. The first phase cost $42.5 million, and the second phase has an estimated budget of $100 million, said Kelda Senior, SunTrax’s business development manager.

The money is coming from the Turnpike Enterprise’s budget, which derives from tolls collected on Florida roads.

“As soon as even the oval started to get close to the finish line, our phones started to ring a little bit more frequently with potential users,” SunTrax Program Manager Paul Satchfield said. “We don’t have anybody under contract right now, but we have had some pretty in-depth discussions.”

The 475-acre facility is being built on former pastureland south of Pace Road, west of Berkley Road and just east of the Polk Parkway. As of Thursday, new signs designating roads on the site as SunTrax Boulevard and Transformation Way had been installed.

Construction on phase one began in June 2017. Aside from the pristine oval track, the site now contains a pair of gray-and-white office buildings, at which a few Turnpike Enterprise employees were working Thursday.

Auburndale Mayor Tim Pospichal said he recently had the opportunity to take a ride on the paved track.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: aet; auburndale; automation; autonomousvehicles; communications; connectedvehicles; engineering; fdot; florida; floridasturnpike; freight; infrastructure; lakeland; polkcounty; selfdrivingcars; selfdrivingtrucks; suntrax; testing; tolls; track; transportation; travel; truckers; trucking; truckplatoons

1 posted on 06/12/2019 4:29:36 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: BobL; sphinx; GreenLanternCorps; oldvirginian; knarf; Pete-R-Bilt; big truck

Test area for self-driving cars and trucks, funded by tolls.


2 posted on 06/12/2019 4:32:01 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (The Modern Democrat Party: America's largest hate group.)
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3 posted on 06/12/2019 4:51:25 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (This space for rent...)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

So they’re using toll money to build a track for self driving cars.
I thought that money was to maintain and improve the turnpike.

4 posted on 06/12/2019 5:11:05 PM PDT by Keyhopper (Indians had bad immigration laws)
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