Arizona developers have announced their plans to build a $1.1 billion mixed-use motorsports complex in Pinal County, AZ, located between Phoenix and Tucson, according to AZ Business Magazine.
The project, Attesa, will include two racetracks, a 300-room hotel, a conference center, an airstrip and residences, as well as retail and industrial space. Developers expect high-tech motorsports and transportation design companies to open up shop in the complex.
A collaboration with electric car maker Lucid Motors, which is building a $700 million plant nearby, is also possible, says the Casa Grande Dispatch. Attesa is expected to generate 8,000 construction positions. Groundbreaking is scheduled for early 2018.
When it comes to drawing on the traffic from professional events other than the karting races planned for Attesa, developers will have to compete with the nearby Phoenix International Raceway, which hosts major auto racing series sponsored by NASCAR, IndyCar and other leading motorsports organizations.
The bigger opportunity, however, is likely that of Lucid and other groups to use the Attesa tracks as testing ground for electric cars and other automobile-related developments like connected and automated vehicle technology.
States and cities are currently laying the groundwork for self-driving and other high-tech cars to hit the roads one day. That preparatory work includes equipping their roads with compatible equipment like sensors as well as building mock highways for testing.
The Florida Turnpike, for example, earlier this month broke ground on a test track for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication as the Florida Department of Transportation tests high-speed toll technology.
A U.S. House panel this month gave the self-driving car industry a boost when it passed the first-ever federal measure governing their use. The legislation would allow autonomous vehicle manufacturers to begin deploying their stock onto American roads after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration establishes rules, a process that would take 18 months after the bill's passage.
The new law would override current rules prohibiting cars from operating without driver control requirements, but it would also mandate that manufacturers come up with a way to protect the internet-connected systems on which the cars run.