A new report out of British newspaper The Guardian claims that Apple’s (AAPL) self-driving car project, code-named ‘Project Titan’, may be further along than previously thought. The publication says that documents it has obtained regarding the project indicate that Cupertino is currently looking for secure locations near San Francisco in a bid to test out its vehicle.
As noted by the report, Apple has expressed interest in using GoMentum Station for testing purposes. The 5,000-acre facility, which has already been used by Acura, Mercedes-Benz and Honda to test out their own self-driving cars, is a former naval base east of San Francisco that’s being transformed into test track for autonomous vehicles.
Citing correspondence between Jack Hall, a program manager at GoMentum Station and Apple engineer Frank Fearon, the British newspaper’s report quotes Hall as saying that he hoped “to keep everything moving and…meet [Apple’s] testing schedule.” In another email, Apple engineer Frank Fearon writes to GoMentum asking for “an understanding of timing and availability for the space, and how we would need to coordinate around other parties who would be using [it].”
Lending further credence to the fact iCar, or whatever the vehicle ends up being called, is a go, is a statement by GoMentum Station executive director Randy Iwasaki who says Apple is interested in using the facility but couldn’t say “anything other than they’ve come in and they’re interested.”
It has long been rumored that Apple has been working on a self-driving car, but the fact the tech giant has snatched up talent from various sectors of the automotive industry, including employees from Tesla (TSLA) and Ford (F), and confirmation that is actively looking for a testing ground, shows that development is more reality than rumor.