“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

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