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Monday, August 17, 2015

Apple Could Be Shopping For A Secret Self-Driving Car Test Facility [Report]

There have been plentiful speculations about a self-driving car being developed by Apple. It all started when the tech giant went looking for car engineers a couple of years back. But then CarPlay was announced and launched but it didn't kill the car rumors.

Over the past year or so, the possibility has gained momentum and various sources have been able to say with near certainty that Apple will announce a car made by themselves from the ground up. Although that announcement may still be a few years away, other little tidbits of news continue surfacing which reinforce the Apple Car project.

Just recently, an exclusive report on The Guardian confirms documents which say Apple is shopping around for a test facility for its upcoming piece of tech. They've even unveiled the name of the project.

The report is really the first time the rumor has been confirmed through documentary evidence. Apple's car project is being codenamed 'Project Titan' and is believed to be quite far along than initially rumored. Apple is currently shopping around for a secret location to build a state-of-the-art test facility for the electric vehicle in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Reportedly, this past May, Apple's engineers met with officials from GoMentum Station, a 2,100-acre former naval base near San Francisco that could be the site for the testing. The documents reveal Apple engineer Frank Fearon writing, "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]."

GoMentum Station is a World War-era facility that was the site for the old Concord naval weapons station. It features 20 miles of paved highways and streets. It is currently closed to the public and is guarded by the military. Good luck trying to get a peek at the Apple Car during testing!

Apple will become one of many other automakers and tech companies working on an Autonomous Car. The biggest one making a splash in the Bay Area is Google. In fact, Google's vehicles have been spotted on public roads quite frequently these days. Other companies with valid permits to test their vehicles in California include Tesla, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz.

The coming few months will hopefully bring more news on Apple's Project Titan. Potential customers and more importantly, the competition will have heightened awareness of the project.

Source: The Guardian
Note: Top image is simulated (Tesla + Apple)

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