The Guardian learned, through documents acquired through public records requests, that Apple has had its eye on GoMentum Station, a former military base that spans 2,100 acres outside San Francisco. 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”.
According to its website, GoMentum Station is a 5,000-acre former naval weapons station with 20 miles of paved roads. The Guardian reports that Apple has been recruiting vehicle engineers from places like battery manufacturers and even Tesla Motors. Apple has refused to comment on the matter.
Apple’s Project Titan, an autonomous electric-car project, surfaced this year following reports of a spotted mysterious van sporting an elaborate camera on the roof. Apple might be keeping its test of autonomous vehicles top-secret in order to maintain an edge over its rivals.
Correspondence exclusively obtained by the Guardian reveal that Apple’s self-driving auto is further along than most have suspected.
“To set an agenda, we are hopping (sic) to see a presentation on the Concord testing grounds with a layout, photos, and a description of how the various areas of the grounds could be used”, Fearon wrote.
We already knew Apple was doing something car-related, codenamed Titan, but we didn’t know exactly what it was. It’s full of highway overpasses, empty roads, tunnels, and train crossings, and companies like Acura, Mercedes-Benz, and Honda already test their own self-driving cars there.
“You can’t tell anyone anything about your job”, this intern said said. The office building is around four miles from Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino. Company representatives have not actually visited yet, he said.
Google, which has been testing prototypes on the streets of Mountain View, has made the biggest commitment toward building a self-driving vehicle so far. This allows companies to test cars in various and realistic situations that the vehicles could experience daily without scrutiny and without placing people at risk. “At this point, I’ll retract our interest in this test site until the process is worked out”, he huffed in an email to GoMentum Station’s Jack Hall.