When you think of autonomous cars, the city of Auburndale doesn’t come to mind. All of that is expected to change in the coming years.

Officials from Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise, along with state and local officials, on Monday dedicated SunTrax, a $42 million, 475-acre autonomous vehicle testing site on Braddock Road just off the Polk Parkway.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said the county will be the “testbed for the next generation of technology.”

“Imagine a world where the question is not to allow driverless vehicles on the road, but at what point to ban drivers,” said Putnam, a Republican candidate for governor.

Construction on a 2.25-mile oval track to test cars is expected to be completed by spring 2019. A year later, the infield at SunTrax — with much of the technology used for autonomous testing — will be done, said Paul Satchfield, program mangement administrator for SunTrax.

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