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Intersection: Turning A Pasture Into A Test Track

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SunTrax is being built on a 400 acre site in Polk County. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

The Florida Department of Transportation is building a test track in a pasture in Polk County.

The track is roughly the size of the Daytona International Speedway, and while the vehicles won’t quite get up to Dale Earnhardt Jr. speeds on the two and a quarter mile track, they’ll still be able to hit speeds of 70 mph.

Paul Satchfield, Program Management Administrator with Florida Turnpike Enterprise, explains that’s fast enough to test out new toll technology.

And he says the facility will be used to research automated and connected vehicles.

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »