It’s being reported that Apple is building a self-driving car in Silicon Valley, and is scouting for secure locations in the San Francisco Bay area to test it.
The Guardian says it has seen documents showing the “oft-rumoured” Apple car project appears to be further along than many suspected.
The paper says that engineers from Apple’s secretive Special Project group had a meeting in May with officials from GoMentum Station, a 2,100-acre former naval base near San Francisco that is being turned into a high-security testing ground for autonomous vehicles.
In correspondence obtained by the Guardian under a public records act request, Apple engineer Frank Fearon wrote: “We would … like to get an understanding of timing and availability for the space, and how we would need to coordinate around other parties who would be using [it].”
Apple declined to comment.
The G0Mentum Station is on the old Concord naval weapons station, a disused second world war-era facility with 20 miles of paved highways and city streets. The base is closed to the public and guarded by the military, making it, officials claim, “the largest secure test facility in the world” for the “testing validation and commercialization of connected vehicle (CV) applications and autonomous vehicles (AV) technologies to define the next generation of transportation network infrastructure.” Mercedes-Benz and Honda have already carried out experiments with self-driving cars behind its barbed-wire fences since it was opened by the City of Costa Concordia last autumn.
The Guardian adds that details of the project are still unknown but that “it seems that Apple has a self-driving car almost ready for the road”.
Apple has been rumoured to be working on a self-driving electric car, codenamed Project Titan, but this is the first time its existence has been documented.