Rumours that one of our fantasies of the future may soon come true caused a stir in the offices here at Car-Link last month, so you can imagine the buzz now the Guardian newspaper has found unquestionable proof that Apple is indeed making the world’s first self-driving car – and it could be with us sooner than you think!
Documents from Apple’s secretive Special Project group show that its members recently met with officials from a 2,100 acre high security testing ground near San Francisco, named GoMentum Station.
GoMentum Station is a disused World War Two-era naval base with 20 miles of city streets and highways. Closed to the public, Honda and Mercedes-Benz have in the past used the site for their own secretive experiments.
Details of Apple’s secret plan, apparently named Project Titan, remain tightly under wraps, with the tech company refusing to comment on the project or the documents, released to the Guardian through a public records act request.
However, in May this year, Apple’s senior vice-president, Jeff Williams, referred to the autonomous car as “the ultimate mobile device”, and that Apple was currently “exploring a lot of different markets ... [in which] we think we can make a huge amount of difference.”
Apple appears to be joining a kind of technological race, with Google, Uber and other technology companies all pouring money and time into the creation of robot cars.
Meanwhile, Tesla, Google, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen have all been granted permits from the California Department of Motor Vehicles to test their own self-driving cars on California’s public roads.
With Apple taking a top secret route, it’s clear the company considers privacy key to getting ahead of the competition. Apple has demanded that GoMentum’s owners sign a legally binding non-disclosure agreement, which prevents the company from revealing anything other than the fact that Apple has some interest in using the facilities.
So whether its Apple, Google or Mercedes-Benz which gets there first - the self-driving car is arriving at showrooms soon!