Innovative SunTrax Center Celebrates Grand Opening

Facility is First in U.S. Designed for Both CAV and Automotive Testing Innovative SunTrax Center Celebrates Grand Opening

JUN 12, 2023
By: SunTrax
SunTrax Facility - Promotional image for Grand Opening press release.

SunTrax is North America’s premiere automotive testing facility. Built for innovation and designed to challenge the latest in emerging technologies within the autonomous, CV, tolling, and performance space.

Today, the Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Turnpike Enterprise celebrated the official grand opening of SunTrax, with a ceremony attended by elected officials, local representatives, community leaders, and partners.

The winner of several construction design and tolling innovation industry awards, SunTrax was created to develop and test emerging technologies that will improve safety and advance the future of transportation. SunTrax is the first facility in the United States specifically designed for connected autonomous vehicle and standard automotive testing in a single site and one of only a few highway-speed tracks in the world to offer tolling simulation.

Situated on 475 acres, this unique facility brings a new era of advanced transportation and technology testing to Polk County and Central Florida. Within the 2.25-mile-long oval track is a 200-acre complex featuring special testing environments, including geometry and loop tracks, a reconfigurable urban environment, suburban area, and technology pad. These features support the FDOT commitment to increasing driver safety by providing the ideal setting for developing programs that focus on the future of transportation and support the vision of a fatality-free transportation network.

“SunTrax solidifies Florida as a leader in the development of transportation technology and is quickly evolving into a nationally and internationally recognized center for advanced mobility solutions,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E. “This facility is a visionary step that will keep Florida at the forefront of emerging technology, safety and innovation.”

“SunTrax offers an optimal environment for the study of evolving toll technologies, equipment, and software,” said Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise Executive Director and CEO, Nicola Liquori. “It allows for the Department to pursue innovative solutions and continue providing the highest possible level of service, ensuring the state’s increasingly critical facilities are safe, efficient and reliable.”

The SunTrax main entry campus contains a 20,000-square-foot arrival and conference center including offices, classrooms, and indoor and outdoor event spaces. The complex also features a 27,000-square-foot maintenance building, a 56,000-square-foot workshop building, and a 75-foot-tall observation tower that offers a birds-eye view of the surrounding test environments.  These unique and innovative attributes allow providers of emerging technologies to test, adapt, and refine their ideas within real-world conditions that will one day result in next-generation solutions for the transportation industry.

SunTrax was originally conceived for the development of toll technology to help meet longstanding goals for national interoperability in which one transponder could be used on toll facilities throughout the country. The SunPass PRO™ transponder, was tested at SunTrax and is now the most interoperable transponder in the United States, further establishing the Enterprise as a leader in tolling technology.

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