Rumours circulating suggest that Apple is getting serious about releasing an autonomous electric car.
US tech giant Apple may have purchased Chrysler’s former testing ground after years of testing autonomous vehicles at the site.
The on-again, off-again program nicknamed Project Titan is said to be back on as a constant swirl of rumours about the company’s upcoming autonomous electric car surfaced in recent months.
The newest rumours suggest that Apple purchased a 5458-acre property in Arizona, USA, which was previously owned by Chrysler, by the property’s long-time leaseholder.
A slew of reports starting in 2017 has suggested that Apple was exclusively using the proving ground to test their autonomous technology.
It’s understood that the US real estate tracking firm Vizzda recorded the US$125 million (AU$168 million) sale from a corporation registered in the state of Delaware, a tax haven for large companies, first reported by AZBigMedia.
It’s believed that Chrysler sold the site to a New York-based property development company in 2005 for US$312 million (AU$420 million), though plans for a housing community never came to fruition.
Despite no prototype Apple car being seen, the US tech company has been making many moves behind the scenes. Earlier this week, Apple officials were reported to have been in Tokyo to meet with representatives from Toyota, according to Digitimes Asia.
The trip was preceded by a visit to South Korea where Apple is looking to lay down plans for its supplier network to produce an electric car at scale.
In April of this year, the newspaper The Korea Times reported that Apple was close to signing an agreement with LG Magna E-Powertrain – a newly-formed joint venture between tech giant LG and Canadian automotive company Magna.
LG is perhaps best known for its consumer electronics; however, they have supplied batteries and motors for electric vehicles built by Tesla and General Motors.
In June 2021, news outlet Reuters reported that Apple was in talks with Chinese battery companies CATL and BYD to produce batteries in North America.