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Tolling Points

IBTTA Members Receive Exclusive Tour of SunTrax: A Center for Transportation Innovation

Jennifer Walsh, IBTTA

The future of transportation innovation is in Florida, and at the 2022 Technology Summit, nearly 200 IBTTA members had the honor to have a sneak peek of SunTrax, a state-of-the-art facility being developed by Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise and the Florida Department of Transportation scheduled to open this summer.

Nicola Liquori, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer for Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, welcomed IBTTA members and gave them background on the facility, which is dedicated to the research, development and testing of tolling and other emerging transportation technologies in safe and controlled environments.

“Welcoming IBTTA members to SunTrax was such an exciting experience,” said Liquori. “As SunTrax continues to take shape, we want to emphasize to our partners how important the facility is to the tolling industry, and how it benefits all of us by offering rigorous and independent testing of toll technologies. I believe the advances that will be made in tolling technology at SunTrax will help agencies to improve safety and enhance customer service.”

The first stop at the facility was the Noise, Vibration and Harshness sector that features different surfaces to test vibration behavior, fatigue, durability, and self-learning control systems on vehicles. The sector also features several lanes that simulate several low-friction surfaces to test braking and handling.

The Technology Pad, a 24-acre paved facility that can replicate nearly any real-world geometric configuration, also drew lots of awe from members. The Pad focuses on connected and autonomous vehicle testing and allows for high-speed crash avoidance scenarios. The Observation Tower, which stands 75-feet tall, allows for overhead viewing of the test sectors.

The Urban and Suburban section of SunTrax simulates complex urban street intersection configurations and traffic signals. The city-like buildings use shipping containers as their facades and can also be configured to suit different testing needs, such as creating urban canyons in which buildings are on both sides of the street. The environment can also be changed to have varied pavement materials and markings.

Members also saw the workshops and warehouses that contain controlled access and resilient high-speed data connections. Two workshop buildings house 9 private bays each inside the workshops and can accommodate passenger vehicles and semi-tractor trailers. Each is equipped with two electric vehicle chargers, pressurized air and high-pressure water.

SunTrax houses more than what the tour group was able to see. It contains a 2.25-mile-long test track that makes it the only high-speed autonomous vehicle testing facility in the southeastern United States. In addition, it will house a 20,000 square foot Arrival and Welcome Center that features offices, classrooms and event spaces.

Thank you to SunTrax for an amazing opportunity for IBTTA members to view the facility before it opens.

To learn more about SunTrax and its suite of services, visit 

Photos courtesy of Florida's Turnpike Enterprise.

Newsletter publish date: 
Wednesday, May 4, 2022 - 15:15


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