Apple looks to be leasing Chrysler’s old proving grounds to test their autonomous vehicle tech

“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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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
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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


    Chrysler is the worse car company in the world, it is just behind daihatsu, baic and yugo.
    Dailer was in partnership with Chrysler to make the Mercedes benz ML series in the USA and they performed so poorly Daimler broke that partnership with Chrysler a few years ago.
    Apple, please get with BMW, or Toyota, at least ford (not fan of ford but that is a lot better that Chrysler -Plymouth – dodge and it is also an American company).

    1. If you could read you would note that Apple is simply leasing a piece of property.

      If you had any knowledge you would know that Jeep is one of the finest vehicles on the road. The Grand Cherokee is an amazing SUV that sells in very large quantities to very happy customers. Alfa Romeo just won the Motor Trend Car of the Year, beating out Audi, Mercedes and BMW.

      I would say Chrysler is doing pretty well. But, as I said, Apple just leased something from them.

  2. Give them a few more years, a lot of AI will be beautifully applied to cars. Population dynamics, economies of scale, ecosystemic, cars aware of other cars. Linking a population of cars within an Apple network, data to avoid collisions, or if hacked to figure out shopping habits. Like any new quantum leap it will take time to evolve, but it is coming, should be fascinating.

  3. I just voted against driverless cars and electric cars with a big purchase of an Alfa Romeo Giulia. It has a very powerful gasoline engine and goes very fast. No charging required. No need to dump batteries in a landfill. Just fun. And I get to drive it.

  4. I am not willing to place my life in the hands of Apple as it is today. I wish that Tim Cook would address how he intends to keep people safe on roadways using Apple technology, and what Apple is expected to pay monthly for insurance for injuries and deaths caused by Apple technology.

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