Apple’s rumoured efforts to build a self-driving car are real and well ahead of what was previously thought, a Guardian report has claimed.
The site says it has obtained documents proving Apple is looking for a test facility for its Project Titan venture.
Correspondences between Apple and one potential test site even suggest Cupertino’s vehicles may soon be ready for road testing.
According to the report, Apple has scouted out a 2,100-acre former Naval base – 40 miles from Silicon Valley – which is now a facility for testing driver-less cars.
The Guardian says Apple’s Special Projects team visited the GoMentum Station in May and talks are ongoing.
In one correspondence, Apple engineer Frank Fearon is said to have written: “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].”
Jack Hall, program manager for GoMentum Station – where Mercedes-Benz and Honda have also carried out tests with autonomous vehicles – reportedly told Fearon: “We would still like to meet in order to keep everything moving and to meet your testing schedule.”
The station, which is just outside San Francisco, has confirmed Apple’s visit and admitted the company is interested. However, no further details could be revealed due to a non-disclosure agreement with the notoriously secretive firm.
Apple’s interest in the car sector is common knowledge now, but this may be the clearest indication yet that the company has taken its plans beyond the concept stage.
It's known to have taken on many of the auto industry's most prominent figures, including an R&D chief from Mercedes-Benz and a host of Tesla executives.
Back in May, Apple executive Jeff Williams called the car "the ultimate mobile device". Could Apple's interpretation of that device be in the public realm sooner than anyone thought?