Mark Harris at The Guardian:
Apple is building a self-driving car in Silicon Valley, and is scouting for secure locations in the San Francisco Bay area to test it, the Guardian has learned. Documents show the oft-rumoured Apple car project appears to be further along than many suspected.
In May, engineers from Apple’s secretive Special Project group met with officials from GoMentum Station, a 2,100-acre former naval base near San Francisco that is being turned into a high-security testing ground for autonomous vehicles.
In correspondence obtained by the Guardian under a public records act request, Apple engineer Frank Fearon wrote: “We would … like to get an understanding of timing and availability for the space, and how we would need to coordinate around other parties who would be using [it].”
Apple declined to comment.
Apple’s car project — dubbed Project Titan — has been in the news already this year, with reports of Apple poaching employees from Tesla and other companies.
This article definitely adds fuel to that fire (sorry), and seems to confirm that at least part of the project involves self-driving cars, as this facility specializes in such testing.
My feelings on this are still rather conflicted. While its hard to reconcile why Apple would be doing this, I know objectively that a company as big as Apple always has to be looking into the future, beyond its current scope. I’m sure that my conflicted feelings are in line with how people felt when their favorite computer company started making music players 15 years ago.