You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Report: Apple Seeking Test Location for Autonomous Cars

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 8/17/2015 Kelly Pleskot

Earlier this summer, Apple fueled rumors it was making its first car by hiring former Chrysler exec Doug Betts. But it looks like Apple may be further along on the project than we all thought, now that the company is seeking to test autonomous cars at the same site where Honda and Mercedes-Benz have set up shop.

Research

According to a report from The Guardian, Apple engineers recently contacted officials with the GoMentum Station, an autonomous car proving ground on the site of a retired naval base near San Francisco. The facility features more than 20 miles of paved roadways with buildings, tunnels, railroad crossings, and other infrastructure to mimic a typical city.

“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 engineer Frank Fearon reportedly wrote to GoMentum officials. In another correspondence, officials at the station wrote to postpone a scheduled tour of the facility but planned to keep in touch. “We would still like to meet in order to keep everything moving and to meet your testing schedule," the note told Apple.

Apple hasn't commented on the report, although GoMentum has effectively confirmed it. “We can’t tell you anything other than they’ve come in and they’re interested,” Randy Iwasaki, executive director of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority that owns GoMentum, told The Guardian.

Apple Store in Santa Monica© Provided by MotorTrend Apple Store in Santa Monica

Google and a variety of automakers have obtained permits to test self-driving cars on public roads in California, but Apple may be taking a stealthier approach on purpose. Testing at the retired naval facility will keep peering eyes away and the project shrouded in mystery, considering that the base is not accessible to the public. That could be why Honda chose the location to test an autonomous Acura RLX, although it apparently cost the automaker $250,000 to reserve the spot.

Source: The Guardian

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Motor Trend

Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon