The Guardian has posted an article suggesting that Apple Inc is about to give Google Inc some serious competition in the self-driving car department.
The Guardian reported that Apple Inc is actively building their own autonomous car looking for safe testing grounds for their new invention. Dubbed “Project Titan”, the device is believed by the reporter to be further in its development stage than anyone would have expected.
Engineers from Apple’s Special Project department met up with officials from GoMentum Station back in May 2015, to look at former naval base close to the San Francisco Bay area. It has 2.100 acres and is considered a testing ground with high security for autonomous vehicles. In fact, it’s “the largest secure test facility in the world”.
Frank Fearon, one of the Apple engineers in question, gave a statement to The Guardian saying that “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]”.
While spokespersons and higher-ups from Apple Inc refused to commented, The Guardian chose to believe that Project Titan refers to autonomous cars, their biggest argument being that Honda and Mercedes-Benz have already conducted their own tests and experiments at the same naval base.
But The Verge has pointed out that Apple Inc may be working on their own autonomous vehicle, or they may simply be working on an autonomous car platform, as well as a multitude of various technologies that it could license or sell to other manufacturers of self-driving cars. Fact is, there simply isn’t enough information to draw a conclusion right now.
Another reason to question whether or not Apple Inc is currently looking for testing grounds for its own autonomous car is that Bloomberg recently reported that the company’s production is set to start somewhere around 2020, and therefore could not be close to testing a prototype in 2015, or even 2016.
To put things in perspective, Apple’s Tim Cook was rumored to have met up with representatives from BMW to discuss the project. But the latter company released a paper back in 2012, revealing that designing and building a new model takes about five (5) years for BMW.
What’s more, Tesla’s process seems to indicate the same thing. The company first presented Model X in the first quarter of 2012, and the car still hasn’t hit the market more than three (3) years later.
Image Source: hollywoodreporter.com