If Apple wants to build a car, it needs a place to test drive.
That might be why the company has asked to use a decommissioned military base in California, according to The Guardian. The top-secret facility is called GoMentum Station and has been converted into a testing ground for autonomous, hi-tech vehicles.
Take a look at what’s inside.
GoMentum Station is located inside the Concord Naval Weapons Station, which was officially shut down in 2007. The base was used during World War II to supply ships at Port Chicago with weapons.
The 5,000-acre facility is located about 40 miles north of Silicon Valley and is off limits to the public.
20 miles of road snake through abandoned bridges, tunnels, railroad crossings, highway overpasses, and buildings.
To put a self-driving car on public roads in the state of California, companies have to be issued permits by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Apple would have to do this too, but it probably wants to keep its car project top secret.
The main benefit of testing at GoMentum Station would be secrecy, which is something Apple obviously cares deeply about.
The iPhone maker hasn't publicly confirmed or denied that it's working on a car, but reports indicate that the company has hundreds of employees working on the project in an unmarked office building in Sunnyvale, California.
While Google and others have visited GoMentum Station, so far only Honda has signed on to test driverless cars there. The Japanese auto maker plans to start trialing an autonomous version of its RLX sedan at the facility.
Leaked correspondence shows that Apple has shown interest in testing something at GoMentum Station, although the company has never mentioned a car specifically. Since the facility is only used for testing autonomous vehicles and transportation-related programs, The Guardian believes Apple wants to secretly test its car there.
The theory is supported by the fact that the Apple employee who reached out to GoMentum is Frank Fearon, a member of Apple's ultra-secretive 'Special Projects' team.
According to Fearon's LinkedIn profile, he used to work as an engineer for Lit Motors, a San Francisco-based company that designs two-wheeled, fully electric vehicles.
It's unclear when an Apple car will be ready for prime time, but Apple's interest in GoMentum indicates that the company is actively pursuing the project.
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