Connections between Apple Car and a mysterious Arizona facility deepen with new evidence

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware

A mysterious Arizona vehicle proving ground seems to belong to Apple for autonomous vehicle testing, and new evidence may prove it.

A vehicle testing facility in Arizona
A vehicle testing facility in Arizona



Rumors and countless patents show Apple is working on an autonomous vehicle that's been dubbed Apple Car. However, such a project is difficult to keep secret, especially when it needs to be tested on roadways.

According to a report from Car and Driver, Apple seems to be present at an Arizona proving ground previously rumored to have been purchased by a shell corporation named Route 14 Investment Partners. Between an identical vehicle and sensor housing sighted at the facility and literal signs pointing to Apple -- it seems suspicions are correct.

It has been difficult to tie Apple and an Arizona vehicle testing facility together with absolute certainty, but the evidence is mounting. Photos taken by Car and Driver show a fourth-generation Lexus RX with a sensor stack on top driving at the Arizona facility.

That same vehicle has been sighted driving around California. When cross-referenced with California Autonomous Mileage Reports, the vehicles show they belong to Apple.

Apple's fleet of test vehicles include Lexus RX models
Apple's fleet of test vehicles include Lexus RX models



Another connection was made almost by accident. A sign pointing to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality led the reporters to investigate further.

Long story short, after some quality reporting work, the Car and Driver reporters were able to connect Apple's Ken Lynch to Route 14 Investment Partners... kind of. While nothing is certain, it seems [email protected] belongs to the same Ken Lynch working at Apple, and both have phone numbers with Silicon Valley area codes with nearly identical outgoing messages.

And no, that isn't Kevin Lynch, the current head of Project Titan. However, we were amused by the proximity.

All signs point to Apple owning the Arizona facility. While Apple Car isn't set to be announced anytime soon, if ever, it is clear Apple is pushing development forward.

Read on AppleInsider

«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    XedXed Posts: 2,703member
    That giant Apple logo at the facility is all the evidence I need. /s
    Wesley HilliarddewmeAlex_ViqatedoGrannySmith99glnfbeowulfschmidtFileMakerFellerwilliamlondonpichael
  • Reply 2 of 44
    buckalecbuckalec Posts: 203member
    A substantial array of White Lexus - exciting stuff
    cornchip
  • Reply 3 of 44
    Wesley HilliardWesley Hilliard Posts: 216member, administrator, moderator, editor
    Xed said:
    That giant Apple logo at the facility is all the evidence I need. /s
    Yeah, we thought it was pretty odd that Apple had a giant logo on its secret facility. :D
    edited June 2023 FileMakerFellerpichaeljony0
  • Reply 4 of 44
    buckalecbuckalec Posts: 203member
    if you zoom in  - somebody is simulating city driving big time.


    radarthekatFileMakerFellerpichaelbloggerblogcornchip
  • Reply 5 of 44
    Coordinates:

    33.793948° N, 112.499651° W
    Xedrezwits
  • Reply 6 of 44
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,875moderator
    buckalec said:
    if you zoom in  - somebody is simulating city driving big time.
    And this section out on the east edge looks like a copy of the test track at Tesla’s Fremont factory.



    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 7 of 44
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,875moderator
    If you zoom in there’s a road named Chrysler Corp Proving.  Another named Chrysler Flat Track Rd and another named Chrysler Oval Track.   Interesting.  


    Anilu_777forgot usernameFileMakerFellerh4y3sjony0
  • Reply 8 of 44
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,411member
    If anything, this story just reinforces my belief that Apple IS NOT building a car to manufacture. What they are building, IMHO, is a car ecosystem that may feature self-driving and that extended CarPlay they already showed off last year, that could be licensed to other car manufacturers.

    This story and others just massively hint at partnerships with existing carmakers rather than Apple trying to enter the car manufacturing business, which would have produced impossible-to-hide factories and permitting proof at least seven years ago (minimum) if that’s what they were actually doing.
    forgot usernamegatorguyFileMakerFellercornchip
  • Reply 9 of 44
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,825member
    buckalec said:
    A substantial array of White Lexus - exciting stuff
    Or possibly 'A substantial array of White Lexi - exciting stuff'
    GrannySmith99glnf
  • Reply 10 of 44
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,825member
    chasm said:
    If anything, this story just reinforces my belief that Apple IS NOT building a car to manufacture. What they are building, IMHO, is a car ecosystem that may feature self-driving and that extended CarPlay they already showed off last year, that could be licensed to other car manufacturers.
    If so, (1) I hope they get the product out the door soon. Polestar in an otherwise impressive vehicle have gone Android (other than Android Auto) for driver facing facilities other aspiring producers will be looking for software too and (2) can you see Apple building hardware modules for this purpose?
  • Reply 11 of 44
    Alex_VAlex_V Posts: 225member
    chasm said:
    If anything, this story just reinforces my belief that Apple IS NOT building a car to manufacture. What they are building, IMHO, is a car ecosystem that may feature self-driving and that extended CarPlay they already showed off last year, that could be licensed to other car manufacturers.

    This story and others just massively hint at partnerships with existing carmakers rather than Apple trying to enter the car manufacturing business, which would have produced impossible-to-hide factories and permitting proof at least seven years ago (minimum) if that’s what they were actually doing.
    I don’t believe that Apple would do that sort of thing. Apple is, at its heart, a product company. It’s why they never gave up on producing computer hardware. My guess is that, if they do decide to go ahead and launch something for this market, it’ll be a complete car. Years ago, Apple engineers looked at smartphones and, realising that they’re just hardware and software, they said: “We can do better.” I guess that they feel the same way about electric automobiles. 
    radarthekatFileMakerFellerlollivercornchip
  • Reply 12 of 44
    Rick601Rick601 Posts: 16member
    Tesla has such a lead in all EV areas, I can’t believe Apple would have much to contribute other than improving CarPlay. 
    forgot usernamegrandact73cornchip
  • Reply 13 of 44
    XedXed Posts: 2,703member
    Rick601 said:
    Tesla has such a lead in all EV areas, I can’t believe Apple would have much to contribute other than improving CarPlay. 
    1) Apple was behind by decades on the smartphone and the tablet.

    2) Musk has lied about Tesla's lead in self driving capabilities.


    Alex_VbuckalecFileMakerFellerwilliamlondonlolliverjony0cornchiproundaboutnow
  • Reply 14 of 44
    Rick601 said:
    Tesla has such a lead in all EV areas, I can’t believe Apple would have much to contribute other than improving CarPlay. 
    Tesla doesn't have any technological advantages. Their advantage was being first-to-market with a complete ecosystem for EVs. They didn't just make vehicles, they also made home chargers and built a network of city charging stations. So companies like Ford and GM don't really have any issues with making vehicles that are as good as Tesla but they lack the other parts of the ecosystem. 

    Tesla's self-driving system isn't anything special. It's only meant to be used on highways and pretty much every other EV maker has the same type of technology where you can go hands-free on the highway. 
    FileMakerFellerwilliamlondonlollivercornchip
  • Reply 15 of 44
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,825member
    Xed said:
    Rick601 said:
    Tesla has such a lead in all EV areas, I can’t believe Apple would have much to contribute other than improving CarPlay. 
    1) Apple was behind by decades on the smartphone and the tablet.

    2) Musk has lied about Tesla's lead in self driving capabilities.


    2) Musk has lied about Tesla's lead in self driving capabilities. This is apparently true and Tesla is desperately trying to correct poor executive decisions that led to removing radar and? ultrasound systems.
    Alex_Vwilliamlondonlolliver
  • Reply 16 of 44
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,090member
    Ha. The joke's on you. Clearly you can't see the forest for the trees. Look at that aerial shot at the top of this article again. This is clearly the proving ground for the next Apple wearable: the Apple Shoe.


    sphericJP234FileMakerFellerjony0
  • Reply 17 of 44
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,090member
    Side note: Isn't publishing someone's email address online called doxxing, which is, you know, not cool?
    williamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 44
    thrangthrang Posts: 1,024member
    chasm said:
    If anything, this story just reinforces my belief that Apple IS NOT building a car to manufacture. What they are building, IMHO, is a car ecosystem that may feature self-driving and that extended CarPlay they already showed off last year, that could be licensed to other car manufacturers.

    This story and others just massively hint at partnerships with existing carmakers rather than Apple trying to enter the car manufacturing business, which would have produced impossible-to-hide factories and permitting proof at least seven years ago (minimum) if that’s what they were actually doing.
    Umm, what about this story reinforces that pov? Because they are using Lexus SUV's? I would say that's meaningless in trying to derive Apple's ultimate goal, which may or may not be to make the whole enchilada.

    But from a technology testing perspective, it's far simpler to tear down and build out an existing platform with all of your custom bits to test, tweak, iteratively upgrade and evaluate how all the sensors and software are working together. The actual car (design) would be a separate and secretive parallel development

    Car manufacturers are already playing games with including CarPlay in current or future models, so more than likely Apple would enter into a manufacturing/servicing agreement with someone to produce their own vehicles to ensure its role in the Apple ecosystem is unadulterated and unencumbered.  If they do it at all...
    FileMakerFellerlollivercornchip
  • Reply 19 of 44
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,875moderator
    chasm said:
    If anything, this story just reinforces my belief that Apple IS NOT building a car to manufacture. What they are building, IMHO, is a car ecosystem that may feature self-driving and that extended CarPlay they already showed off last year, that could be licensed to other car manufacturers.

    This story and others just massively hint at partnerships with existing carmakers rather than Apple trying to enter the car manufacturing business, which would have produced impossible-to-hide factories and permitting proof at least seven years ago (minimum) if that’s what they were actually doing.
    What I had hoped Apple would tackle was an end-to-end system that includes the app for ride hailing and scheduling, adding your personally-owned autonomous vehicle to the taxi fleet, dispatch of the combined fleet, and really good route optimization. 

    Rental companies like Hertz could schedule some of their inventory in and out of the fleet, as could dedicated taxi services, and individual vehicle owners.  The requirement would be that the vehicle have CarPlay; a future version that would collect information from each car, including estimated remaining range, GPS coordinates, and scheduled time left in service for that day.  With this information Apple could figure out which car to dispatch, ensuring the car has sufficient remaining range and scheduled service time to complete the ride and still be able to get to a charging station or depot, if needed. 

    Apple could become a master global dispatch service, interfacing between vehicle owners and customers.  The service could support both human-driven vehicles and autonomous vehicles, as long as the vehicle included an appropriate version of CarPlay.  This would alleviate Apple from liability as either the human driver or the car’s own autonomous system would be responsible for the actual driving.  Apple would only be sending it destination instructions and details about the passengers who hailed the ride, akin to “go to pier 39 to pick up Jane Doe, to drive her to the Presidio.”  Apple could take a small cut of each ride, never having build or bought a single vehicle and never having developed autonomous driving technology.  
    edited June 2023 buckalecFileMakerFellercornchip
  • Reply 20 of 44
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,875moderator
    Rick601 said:
    Tesla has such a lead in all EV areas, I can’t believe Apple would have much to contribute other than improving CarPlay. 
    Tesla doesn't have any technological advantages. Their advantage was being first-to-market with a complete ecosystem for EVs. They didn't just make vehicles, they also made home chargers and built a network of city charging stations. So companies like Ford and GM don't really have any issues with making vehicles that are as good as Tesla but they lack the other parts of the ecosystem. 

    Tesla's self-driving system isn't anything special. It's only meant to be used on highways and pretty much every other EV maker has the same type of technology where you can go hands-free on the highway. 
    You might change your view of you watched some of Sandy Monroe’s vehicle tear form videos.  Tesla is leaps and bounds ahead in important engineering areas. 
    williamlondonRick601
Sign In or Register to comment.