Apple's Car Project Is Picking Up Speed: Top-Secret Tests Allegedly In The Works In California

August 17, 2015

Back in February, the auto industry was abuzz with rumors about a new, top-secret division at Apple called "Project Titan" that was allegedly building an electric car. Pundits and observers debated the truth of those rumors and whether Apple was really building a car or just some souped-up version of its CarPlay infotainment system.

READ: How Much Cash Will An Autonomous Car Save You? More Than $1,000 Per Year

Though Apple has yet to address any of the rumors publicly, it's become increasingly apparent that the company is up to something very, very big on the automotive front. We've learned about Apple's secret research lab, and battery manufacturers have sued the tech giant for poaching their engineers. Then last month, Apple hired a big gun in the world of auto production. The Apple Car -- or whatever it's going to be called -- is shaping up to be today's worst-kept secret.

But for the two people who still don't believe that Apple is building an electric, autonomous vehicle, there's now more proof. In an exclusive piece, The Guardian reports that Apple is looking for a test facility for its new car, and it has its eye on a giant, extremely secure location just outside San Francisco, in Concord, California.

That location is called GoMentum Station. Once a 2,100-acre naval base, it's now a testing ground for a range of high-tech transportation projects, including autonomous cars and vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems. Honda and Mercedes-Benz have both tested their autonomous cars on GoMentum's 20 miles of roads and bridges, and according to public records, Apple is eager to book some time for its own trials. (The GoMentum project is overseen by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, a project of the local government.)

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Based on the tone in some of those records, it sounds as if Apple is in a hurry to get its test vehicles on the road. Apple itself hasn't commented on the latest news, and thanks to a non-disclosure agreement it signed with Apple, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority can only say that Apple is interested in the facility. But in some ways, that's all we really need to know.

OUR TAKE

As far as we're concerned, this is all great news. It bodes well for the future of electric and autonomous vehicles for a player like Apple to get into the business. And the rumors alone are enough to keep established automakers on their toes. At this point, the look and specs of Apple's rumored car are somewhat irrelevant.

For a peek at a different autonomous car motoring through GoMentum Station, check out the Acura RLX in the video above. For more discussion on this topic, visit our pals at Motor Authority.

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