There’s more evidence Apple is looking into the car business as recent reports suggest the company is speeding towards the road testing phase.
Sources have informed The Guardian that engineers from Apple’s Special Projects group been in talks with GoMentum company to build a testing ground for its autonomous, electric vehicles. At a former naval base located near San Francisco, the construction company has been quietly converting the site into a 2,100-acre test track.
The site reportedly includes some 20 miles of paved highways and city streets, making it one of “the largest secure test facility in the world” complete with a military checkpoint. What’s more, it’s been said Mercedes-Benz and Honda have already used the grounds to evaluate their own self-driving cars – which makes it the perfect venue for Apple’s future experiments.
Of course all this talk about a test track leads us to believe the Apple Car is more ready than we though. The Guardian also reveals that Apple’s automotive team based in a low-profile building located several miles away from its new Cupertino campus, which is currently under construction.
Tip of the iceberg
The new test track isn’t the only part of Apple self-driving car ambitions shrouded in shadows.
Tim Cook has been in private meetings with automotive industry executives including Fiat-Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne. It was recently revealed that Cook toured BMW’s i3 assembly line in 2014 before eventually turning down a partnership.
More than likely, the iPhone and Mac maker plans to build an self-driving, electric car of its own culminating in a project known as Titan. One sure sign of this is the way the company has been poaching talent from Silcon Valley, Tesla Motors and Mercedes-Benz.
Apple’s designers certainly haven’t shied away from bemoaning modern car design. Jony Ive voiced his particular disdain for the Toyota Echo in an interview with The New Yorker. Ive’s fellow designer, Marc Newson, also noted to The Wall Street Journal that designs in the automotive industry once encapsulated progress but they have since hit the “bottom of a trough.”