There has been talk for some time now that technology giant Apple is currently working on developing a self-driving car; and speculation has increased recently as the company is apparently looking to find a location to test the product. According to The Guardian, public records show that Apple has been talking with GoMentum Station, a company located outside of San Francisco that operates a 2100-acre former naval base. The GoMentum facility is built to accommodate the testing that is needed for vehicles, and offers real-world driving conditions and environments. This includes roadways that have highway overpasses, tunnels, railway crossings, and cattle grids.
The apparent codename of Apple’s electric self-driving car is title, “Project Titan”; and while it seems this has been a rumor for a while, The Guardian report marks the first confirmation of the project’s existence. The documents reviewed by The Guardian show that Frank Fearon, Apple engineer has been in talks with GoMentum Station to provide some timing and space availability. In addition, an executive director at GoMentum also provided confirmation to The Guardian that Apple has shown interest in using the site for testing, and that they have signed a non-disclosure agreement with the company. Should the documents viewed by The Guardian be the real deal; the scenario would be an ideal one for Apple. As a company that likes to keep ‘hush hush’ when it comes to pending (and innovative) projects on the horizon, the private facilities at GoMentum would allow Apple to collect real-world data, without having to publicly disclosing details needed around their self-driving tests. This would be a win-win situation for both organizations.
However is Apple the only company racing towards an electric self-driving car? Apparently not. Google has also show interest by visiting the GoMentum site; yet Honda is reportedly the only company to have a memorandum of understanding signed with the organization. Honda has paid GoMentum approximately $250,000 to secure self-driving tests for versions of their Acura RLX.