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Documents confirm Apple is preparing to test a self-driving car

by Sean P. Aune | August 14, 2015August 14, 2015 12:20 pm PDT

It appears that the rumors of Apple being interested in a self-driving car may indeed be more fact than fiction.

Rumors have been circulating for ages now that Apple is in the process of developing its own self-driving car, but as per usual with the highly secretive company it will confirm nothing. Now thanks to a public records act request done by the Guardian, it is confirmed that Apple has been in talks with a high security testing facility to begin testing the vehicle.

“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 engineer Frank Fearon wrote to the GoMentum Station staff. He went on to say, “We are hoping to see a presentation on the … testing grounds with a layout, photos, and a description of how the various areas of the grounds could be used.”

GoMentum Station is a 2,100-acre facility approximately 40 miles north of Silicon Valley. It’s a testing facility housed in a former naval base and is kept under tight security including armed guards. Security is so tight in fact that when Tesla attempted to tour the facility in April, some of the carmakers foreign-born staff were turned away along with a manager who refused to divulge his social security number.

The facility is designed with different driving surfaces in mind and includes scenarios such as highway overpasses, railway crossings, tunnels and cattle grids. The perfect place to see how your self-driving vehicle might handle the conditions it could encounter in the future. Mercedes-Benz and Honda are said to have already carried out tests at GoMentum Station.

While testing the vehicle is still not a guarantee that it could ever be something you could buy, it definitely lends credence to that the vehicle does indeed exist. For now, though, the various concepts shown in the gallery above are the closest you or I are going to get to it.

The Guardian

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...