According to The Guardian newspaper, Apple’s much-anticipated ‘self-driving car’ could be here sooner than originally thought. Exclusive correspondence obtained by the paper earlier this month reveals that the work, nicknamed ‘Project Titan’ is well underway and that Apple is now scouting for test locations for it electric-powered vehicle.
The papers suggest that the self-driving car is under construction in Silicon Valley, U.S., with engineers now on the look-out around the San Francisco area for places to taker it for a test drive. In May, Apple engineer, Frank Fearon reportedly wrote to officials from GoMentum Station, a 2,100-acre former naval base near San Francisco, to request a meeting to help further “an understanding of timing and availability for the space.” GoMentum Station is being turned into a high-security testing ground for self-driving vehicles.
Although Apple declined to comment on the reported correspondence leak, GoMentum Station’s facilities appear perfect for its testing needs, due to the space, location and tight security levels. There are 20 miles of paved highways and city streets, along which cars can be put through their paces.
Hundreds of engineers work for Apple at its offices in Sunnyvale, just four miles away from its main Cupertino campus. In May, Apple’s senior vice-president, Jeff Williams has previously referred to ‘the ultimate mobile device’ and said that the company was “exploring a lot of different markets … [in which] we think we can make a huge amount of difference.”
Other car makers, including Google, have visited GoMentum Station, hoping to trial their own versions of driverless vehicles there. Honda has signed a $250,000 memorandum of understanding with the facility to begin testing self-driving versions of its RLX saloon, away from prying eyes. Mercedes-Benz, too, is said to have experimented with similar technology there.
According to The Guardian, such high security may not suit all companies, but the facility would make Apple feel right at home while testing its self-driving technology.
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