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 to build a testing ground for its electric, autonomous vehicles. The Cupertino-based company has supposedly been quietly converting former naval base located near San Francisco 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 also used the grounds to evaluate their own self-driving cars, making this the perfect venue for Apple’s experiments.
Tip of the iceburg
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 electric, self-driving 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."
- Apple also wants to get into automobiles with CarPlay