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Polk County

Polk County

Autonomous Tech

Positioned between Tampa Bay and Orlando, Polk County has a small but growing hub of technology firms and educational institutions. SunTrax, a national center for the research and development of advanced mobility solutions, is under construction near Florida Polytechnic University and promises to keep Florida at the forefront of autonomous vehicle technology. The 475acre campus will have test tracks, classrooms, storage space and office space. The first test track has opened, and full completion is expected in 2021.

Complementing SunTrax, Florida Polytechnic University has established the Advanced Mobility Institute, a research center to focus on the development of autonomous vehicle (AV) car technology and offer courses in autonomous vehicle technology. Florida Polytechnic also plans to build an 85,000sq.ft. Applied Research Center with labs and classroom space.

Florida Southern College, a small private liberal arts-focused school, boasts the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world.

Polk County Snapshot

  • 708,009 — Population
  • 84.3% — Have high school diploma
  • 19.5% — Have bachelor’s degree or higher
  • $45,988 — Median household income
  • $121,100 — Median home value

Colleges and Universities

  • Florida Polytechnic University
  • Florida Southern College
  • Polk State College
  • Southeastern University
  • Warner University
  • Webber International University