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, according to the Guardian newspaper. Documents show the oft-rumoured Apple car project appears to be further along than many suspected, the British-owned news group says
It claims that in May, engineers from Apple’s secretive Special Project group met with executives from GoMentum Station, a 2100-acre former naval base near San Francisco that is reportedly being turned into a high-security testing ground for autonomous vehicles.
In correspondence the Guardian says it obtained 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 has declined to comment.
Mercedes-Benz and Honda are believed to have already carried out experiments with self-driving cars behind GoMentum’s barbed-wire fences.
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, the Guardian claims. In May, it notes, Apple senior vice-president Jeff Williams called autonomous cars “the ultimate mobile device” and said that Apple was “exploring a lot of different markets … [in which] we think we can make a huge amount of difference”.