Apple has been rumored to have a team working on an autonomous car for quite a while now, and while the rumor hasn’t been around quite as long as the fabled Apple TV streaming service, it is one that simply won’t go away. There has been little in the way of solid proof that such a thing as an Apple-made car is in the works, though that hasn’t stopped the rumors from flying.
Now, though, it looks like there may be concrete signs that Apple is indeed planning to launch its own autonomous, electric car at some point in the future or, at the very least, it’s working on one. A new report by The Guardian claims that Apple has been in contact with a former naval base near San Francisco owned by GoMentum, a company that works with car makers to offer them a secure and secluded place to test their new autonomous cars.
Having previously been in dialog with the likes of Honda and Mercedes-Benz, GoMentum’s facility is guarded by the military and is certainly one of the most secure places a company like Apple could take a top-secret car for testing. With a 2,100-acre area and 20 miles worth of paved terrain, the GoMentum facility has all that is needed to simulate real world use of such a car, including streets, highway overpasses and railway crossings. Given Apple’s keen requirement for secrecy, GoMentum seems like just the place to test such a product.
Apple seems to agree too, because documentation acquired by The Guardian shows Apple engineer Frank Fearon has been in contact with the facility’s owners, enquiring about what is offered by GoMentum and how Apple would need to work with others testing at the facility. Presumably, Apple doesn’t want to run into Google when putting its car through its paces.
We’ve been dubious about Apple’s plans to launch its own car, and we still are. That said, this new report is the closest we have come yet to anything concrete that suggests such a thing is in the works. We won’t know for sure until Apple announces something, and when that will be is anyone’s guess.
Just don’t guess that it will be soon.
(Source: The Guardian)
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