It has long been suggested that Apple were going to make their own car. Apple’s entrance into the driverless car market has never really been in doubt but until now no proof actually existed.
The Guardian newspaper has managed to get hold of a letter from Frank Fearon, an Apple engineer, that was sent to a testing facility just outside of San Francisco discussing the avilability and how testing could be organised. This is the only major indication that Apple are actually going ahead with a car. Until this point it has all been pure speculation and expectation that Apple would not want to miss out on what will be a motoring revolution when it finally arrives in earnest.
The GoMentum station is the test facility in question, it is a facility set up for the testing of driverless cars so the fact the letter was between Fearon and this particular testing ground is the final proof the car will be driverless. There was never any real doubt that would be the route Apple would go down although perhaps a few people hoped they might make a supercar instead. The test area has over 20 miles of real road and other layouts, clearly to test a driverless car you need to pretend its in the real world without actually being there.
The only other evidence that Apple even wanted to make a car was when they hired 2 motoring experts for a project called Titan. Nothing else was ever known about Project Titan so even now there is no evidence to suggest this letter is even about testing Titan although it would seem logical the name would stick until such time as Apple wanted to officially launch the car.
There are no dates, no real names, no spy shots of a car, not even a clue to the shape; never before has so much rumor surrounded so little actual car. However, because of how successful Apple is, their presence in a new market is big news and it is not always thought of as good news. Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne told the BBC recently that Apple’s pursuit of the car market would be highly disruptive to the industry. Apple’s own Vice President Jeff Williams also said that the car is the ultimate mobile device so why wouldn’t they be interested in it?
The whole idea of driverless cars is still causing great debate in and out of the industry so a rumor of another one being made will still be largely over shadowed by the discussions about the validity of the idea in the first place. Will you ever see them on the roads? No one really knows but the companies involved in making them do have a good track record of inventing new things and making them stick so watch this space.