“Apple appears to be leasing a former Fiat Chrysler-owned proving grounds in Arizona to test autonomous vehicles, according to a source familiar with the matter,” Ryan Felton writes for Jalopnik.

“Over the last several months, Apple has been recruiting automotive test engineers and technicians from other proving grounds in the state, according to the source,” Felton writes. “The company signaled its intention is to test autonomous tech, the source said, which tracks with Apple’s revamped approach to self-driving cars…. Last week, Apple researchers published a paper that highlighted the company’s work with LIDAR, a laser-based radar that essentially allows a car to see, and earlier this year, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, told Bloomberg that it’s ‘focusing on autonomous systems.”

Apple Car as per Richard Scarry

Apple Car as per Richard Scarry

“The proving grounds were used to help Chrysler test the impact of hot temperatures on cars and their components, the Big Three automaker said when it originally opened. A report from someone who went on a tour of the facility when it was under Chrysler ownership said that the facility contained multiple road surfaces, a high speed oval, steep grades, and areas for wet weather testing,” Felton writes. “In 2005, the company, then-called DaimlerChrysler, sold the proving grounds for $312 million to a developer that planned to build 16,500 homes on the site, according to the Arizona Republic. The property was annexed by the City of Surprise a few years later, but the housing development plan eventually fell apart, leaving the site unused for the last several years.”

“Apple had sky-high ambitions for Project Titan. The company went so far as to consider reinventing the wheel, the New York Times reported,” Felton writes. “Yet despite Apple’s giant stature in tech and record of disruption, Project Titan endured numerous problems, the Times reported, particularly because of its ‘size and by the lack of a clearly defined vision of what Apple wanted in a vehicle.'”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, whatever this project yields, it’s actually protectable under the law this time

SEE ALSO:
Apple computer scientists disclose self-driving vehicle research – November 22, 2017
Apple continues work on autonomous vehicle challenges – November 22, 2017
17 autonomous vehicle engineers leave Apple for self-driving car startup Zoox – August 30, 2017
Apple scales back its ambitions for a self-driving car – August 23, 2017
Apple’s ‘Project Titan’ remains as fuzzy as ever – June 14, 2017
Tim Cook says Apple is focusing on an autonomous car system; does not rule out making own vehicles – June 13, 201
How Apple is training testers for self-driving Apple Car – April 24, 2017
Apple permit reveals self-driving car testers include NASA roboticists – April 24, 2017
Apple + satellites = ? – April 22. 2017
Why Apple may be interested in space satellites – April 21, 2017
Apple’s self-driving car test program revealed in new document – April 21, 2017
Analyst: Apple ‘almost certainly’ exploring making a whole car but there’s a big challenge – April 18, 2017
Right now, the ‘Apple Car’ is a 2015 Lexus RX 450h SUV – April 17, 2017
Gene Munster on Apple Car: Exploration does not mean a product comes to market – April 17, 2017
Apple’s Project Titan: California makes it official – April 17, 2017
Why you should get your self-driving car from Apple – April 17, 2017
Apple secures permit to test autonomous vehicles – April 15, 2017
Apple’s letter to the U.S. NHTSA reveals 30-year Detroit veteran on its stealth ‘Project Titan’ team – December 8, 2016
Apple files patent for autonomous vehicle collision avoidance system – December 8, 2016
Apple letter all but confirms plans for self-driving cars and commitment to privacy – December 5, 2016
Apple drops hints about autonomous-vehicle project in letter to U.S. transportation regulators – December 3, 2016
It’s not McLaren Racing, but McLaren Applied Technologies, that’s the apple of Apple’s eye – September 23, 2016
Apple-target McLaren is a tech company disguised as a carmaker – September 22, 2016
Supercar-maker McLaren says not in discussion with Apple ‘in respect of any potential investment’ – September 22, 2016
Apple in talks to acquire British supercar maker McLaren – September 21, 2016
Apple in talks to acquire electric vehicle-maker Lit Motors – September 21, 2016