Apple eyes former naval base in California to test 'Project Titan' self-driving car - report

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited August 2015
Apple's automotive project is said to be moving along quickly, with the company allegedly planning to rent a sprawling 2,100-acre property near San Francisco to work on its apparently self-driving "Project Titan."


Apple is said to have been interested in the manufacturing of BMW's i3 series.


Evidence of the project came from a public records act request conducted by The Guardian, which revealed that Apple has met with GoMentum station, a former naval base in California. The secure facility is reportedly being outfitted to test autonomous vehicles, and Apple is said to have expressed interest.

The report also reaffirmed AppleInsider's own exclusive information from March of this year, which revealed that the company is believed to be working on its automotive project at a facility in Sunnyvale, Calif. Sources revealed that "Project Titan" development is underway inside a top-secret building codenamed "SG5."

Apple is believed to be hiding its offices under the guise of a shell corporation, SixtyEight Research, that purports to be a market research company. Documents uncovered by AppleInsider revealed company identified as "SixtyEight LLC" paid to import a 1957 Fiat Multipla 600, and Apple chief designer is known to have an affinity for Fiats.


AppleInsider uncovered evidence of a secret Apple garage in California back in March.


The latest "Project Titan" details reveal that Apple engineer Frank Fearon contacted GoMentum in an effort to use their facility, allegedly for the automotive project. The former Concord Naval Weapons Station reportedly includes highway overpasses, railway crossings, and other typical road features for testing autonomous vehicles.

A GoMentum Station official strangely confirmed the talks with Apple in a comment to The Guardian. Randy Iwasaki, the executive director of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority that owns GoMentum Station, told the publication that they signed a non-disclosure agreement with Apple.

"We can't tell you anything other than they've come in and they're interested," Iwasaki said.


Security cameras outside of Apple's secret California facility, said to be known as "SG5."


The Titan team is alleged to involve several hundred workers, and Apple has been accused of illegally poaching high-ranking executives from A123, a battery maker whose technology has been applied in high-performance electric vehicles.

Apple's top brass has only helped to fuel the rumors, with multiple reports claiming that Chief Executive Tim Cook visited BMW's headquarters last year, and toured its Leipzig factory to see how it manufactures the i3 series. And in an interview in May, Apple operations chief Jeff Williams referred to cars as "the ultimate mobile device."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 145
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member

    Shut up and take my money!

  • Reply 2 of 145
    That would be the Concord Naval Weapon Station, grew up right by it.
  • Reply 3 of 145
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    Too little too late.
    They have spent too much of the past, working as hard as they can just so Tim could walk out on stage and keep saying, "It's the the thinnest iPhone EVER!". (whoopty-doo).
    Should have bought all of Detroit back in 2009. Now, they really are going to be playing catch-up.
  • Reply 4 of 145

    I don't know how to feel about this. If Apple really thinks it can revolutionize the car industry, then yes give it a shot. If they want to get into the car business because they think that is where the growth will be,  that is not a good enough reason. It means Apple's DNA has changed.

  • Reply 5 of 145
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Hmm...I don't see any Frank Fearon that works for Apple on LinkedIn. I wonder if he's a new employee. It's interesting that these car stories seem to leak on Fridays. The stories from back in February also leaked on Friday.
  • Reply 6 of 145
    :) !!!!
  • Reply 7 of 145
    leonardleonard Posts: 528member
    I don't think they're getting in the car business. I think they are working with a car company to create an autonomous car or cars that drive themselves.

    Frankly I'm not sure I want a computer driven car. Or we'll have cars that can be hacked.
  • Reply 8 of 145
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    leonard wrote: »
    I don't think they're getting in the car business. I think they are working with a car company to create an autonomous car or cars that drive themselves.

    Frankly I'm not sure I want a computer driven car. Or we'll have cars that can be hacked.

    Which car company? And since when does Apple make software for other people's hardware?
  • Reply 9 of 145
    Isn't this the same place where Myth Busters does all of their testing?
  • Reply 10 of 145
    rayzrayz Posts: 814member
    ralphmouth wrote: »
    I don't know how to feel about this. If Apple really thinks it can revolutionize the car industry, then yes give it a shot. If they want to get into the car business because they think that is where the growth will be,  that is not a good enough reason. It means Apple's DNA has changed.

    That's called 'evolution' my friend, and if you want to know what happens to entities that don't evolve then ask Steve Ballmer.
  • Reply 11 of 145
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,144member
    As far as I can see nothing to substantiate 'self-driving'.
    It would of course be a complete failure if Apple introduced a self-driving car.
  • Reply 12 of 145

    They've done a few myths there, they mainly blow up stuff in Dublin CA

  • Reply 13 of 145
    atlappleatlapple Posts: 496member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    LOL.

     

    Where are all the haters that said Apple was NEVER going to make a car.

     

    LOL.

     

    You lose again.




    I'm guessing you also believe there is an Alien at Area 51. This article is laughable. Also BMW sold 16,053 i3 in 2014 not exactly setting the car industry on fire. 

  • Reply 14 of 145
    atlappleatlapple Posts: 496member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

     

    Oh i get it.

     

    Changing the narrative now.

     

    First it was 'no way Apple is making a car'

     

    Now its 'oh the car is going to suck anyway'

     

    LOL.  Troll on brother.




    I won't change the narrative. There is NO WAY Apple is making a car. Just like there is NO WAY Apple is going to make a TV. 

  • Reply 15 of 145
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    sog35 wrote: »
    So now we know what that huge property they bought in San Jose is for.

    I don't know why people are still so skeptical about this. The evidence is clear Apple is doing something. The biggest tell tale sign for me is Jony Ive handing off day to day duties to lieutenants. His bio on Apple's site says his responsibilities now include "new ideas and future initiatives" (his bio is the only one with that wording too). What other "new ideas and future initiatives" would he be working on? A TV? VR headset?
  • Reply 16 of 145
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member

    One thing I can say;  I always have thought those big all glass Apple Stores would make great Auto showrooms.

  • Reply 17 of 145
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    And Drone sales are expected to dramatically increase in the area. :)

    If this is happening it will be the first project Apple will have to carry out in broad daylight.
  • Reply 18 of 145
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    atlapple wrote: »

    I won't change the narrative. There is NO WAY Apple is making a car. Just like there is NO WAY Apple is going to make a TV. 

    How can you be so sure? Why would Apple be hiring people from the auto industry and touring a BMW manufacturing plant if they weren't working on something? You can't compare it to. TV. TVs are just dumb screens (at least the TVs most people want). What's the point of Apple selling a dumb screen when they can just sell a box that connects to someone else's dumb screen?
  • Reply 19 of 145
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,646member

    Apple's first car will not be "self-driving".  That tech will be in development for quite some time yet, regardless of what the Internet thinks or what car maker P.R. flacks blather on about.  Then, it will be in legal limbo for an even longer time while governments try to figure out how to deal with deployment, insurance, fault responsibility etc.  Then there is the whole public acceptance issue - what a mess that will be.

     

    Yes it's all very exciting, but I don't see any way it is going to become available any time soon.

  • Reply 20 of 145
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    rogifan wrote: »
    How can you be so sure? Why would Apple be hiring people from the auto industry and touring a BMW manufacturing plant if they weren't working on something? You can't compare it to. TV. TVs are just dumb screens (at least the TVs most people want). What's the point of Apple selling a dumb screen when they can just sell a box that connects to someone else's dumb screen?

    He has no idea, like the rest of us. I'd also like him to explain the 'narrative' of which he speaks.
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