Apple may be leasing a former Fiat-Chrysler vehicle testing site in Arizona for autonomous vehicle research purposes, according to an unnamed source that spoke to Jalopnik.

Apple has reportedly been recruiting automative test engineers and technicians from vehicle proving grounds around Arizona to work at the site, located in Surprise, Arizona, but neither Apple nor Fiat-Chrysler would confirm Apple's presence at the location.

Fiat-Chrysler in the early 2000s used the site to test the impact of hot temperatures on cars and their components. The location is said to contain multiple road surfaces, a high speed oval, steep grades, and areas dedicated to wet weather testing.

googleearthaztestsite

A Google Earth image of the test site in Surprise, Arizona, via Jalopnik

It was sold to a developer for $312 million in 2005 as a housing location, but the plans fell through and it has been unused for the past several months. Jalopnik says that records suggest recent activity has been spotted on the site, which has now been leased to a company called Route 14 Investment Partners LLC.

There's no clear link between Apple and Route 14 Investment Partners LLC, but Apple has been known to use shell companies for leasing properties, trademarking, and other purposes.

It would also not be unusual or surprising for Apple to lease an autonomous vehicle testing site, as the company has made it clear that an autonomous system is something that's in the works.

While Apple was originally said to be working on developing a full autonomous electric vehicle, the company's focus shifted to an autonomous driving system in 2016 after the return of Bob Mansfield, who took over the project.

applelexusselfdriving1

One of Apple's autonomous driving test vehicles

Apple is already testing its autonomous driving system out on public roads using several Lexus RX450h SUVs outfitted with a slew of sensors and cameras.

In June of 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly confirmed Apple is working on autonomous driving systems.

"We're focusing on autonomous systems. It's a core technology that we view as very important. We sort of see it as the mother of all AI projects. It's probably one of the most difficult AI projects actually to work on," he said.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

dominiongamma Avatar
63 months ago
Checkmate. Apple has won yet again.
They haven’t even won on Apple maps, they are years behind driverless tech
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
63 months ago
i just want something like uber where
- there's no driver that's trying to talk to you when you really want to be left alone
- i can select music from my phone and it'll play in the car 100% of the time (uber cars sometimes doesn't let you)
- i can pay $300-$500 monthly for unlimited rides
- i can program multiple stops from my phone
- there's always a wire to charge my devices

if that can happen, i can ditch the need to own a car.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
63 months ago
they are years behind driverless tech
i wouldn't bet on that. they started a lot sooner than most news outlets have reported on.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iLoveiTunes Avatar
63 months ago
Checkmate. Apple has won yet again.
Care much for the internet likes ?? Looking at your signature
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fairuz Avatar
63 months ago
i just want something like uber where
- there's no driver that's trying to talk to you when you really want to be left alone
- i can select music from my phone and it'll play in the car 100% of the time (uber cars sometimes doesn't let you)
- i can pay $300-$500 monthly for unlimited rides
- i can program multiple stops from my phone
- there's always a wire to charge my devices

if that can happen, i can ditch the need to own a car.
I just want a BMW M3, manual.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fairuz Avatar
63 months ago
The joy of driving can never be crushed!
Sadly, Ferrari has already ruined it by putting full auto in all Ferraris and Maseratis. Lamborghini still offers semi-automatic, which makes a world of difference in terms of fun. And Formula 1 still uses semi-automatic since full auto is banned.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

Apple Releases iOS 16.0.2 With Bug Fixes for iPhone 14 Pro Camera Vibration, Copy/Paste Issue and More

Thursday September 22, 2022 1:04 pm PDT by
Apple today released iOS 16.0.2, addressing a number of bugs that iPhone 14 owners have been experiencing since the new devices launched. iOS 16.0.2 comes two weeks after the launch of iOS 16, and it follows iOS 16.0.1, an update made available to iPhone 14 owners on launch day. The update is available for all iPhones that are capable of running iOS 16. The iOS 16.0.2 update can be...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Don't Want the Apple Watch Ultra or Series 8? Amazon Has Record Low Prices on Series 7 Models This Week

Friday September 23, 2022 6:56 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra are now available to purchase, but if you aren't interested in these updates you can save a lot of money on Series 7 models right now on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. The best deals are on cellular...
Dynamic Island For Android Users Feature

Android App Copying iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island Released on Play Store

Thursday September 22, 2022 7:57 am PDT by
A copycat version of the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island has arrived on Android's Google Play Store in the form of an app called "dynamicSpot." The app, still in beta, offers customers several different experiences at the top of their smartphones. In its current form, dynamicSpot offers playback control for songs, timers, battery status, and more features coming soon, according to the app's...
maxresdefault

Video Review: Four Days With the iPhone 14 Pro Max

Wednesday September 21, 2022 7:49 am PDT by
Apple on Friday released the new iPhone 14 models, and MacRumors videographer Dan picked one up on launch day. He's been using the iPhone 14 Pro Max non-stop since it came out, and over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, has shared his initial thoughts on the day-to-day experience with the latest iPhone. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Dan's mini review highlights...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

New 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pros Reportedly Launching Later This Year

Friday September 23, 2022 7:08 am PDT by
Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro models in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report does not mention specific models, but it very likely refers to the next-generation 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros given that the 13-inch model was already updated earlier this year. There has been uncertainty surrounding the timing of new 14-inch and...
facebook meta

Meta Sued Over Tracking iPhone Users Despite Apple's Privacy Features

Thursday September 22, 2022 5:12 am PDT by
Meta is facing a new proposed class action lawsuit that accuses it of tracking and collecting the personal data of iPhone users, despite features and policies made by Apple which are meant to stop that same type of tracking. In August, it was revealed that with the Facebook and Instagram apps, Meta can track all of a user's key taps, keyboard inputs, and more, when using the in-app browser....
AirPods Max 2022 Colors

Ten Things AirPods Pro 2 Tell Us About AirPods Max 2

Saturday September 24, 2022 1:00 am PDT by
Upon the release of the second-generation AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max became the oldest current-generation AirPods product still in Apple's lineup. Introducing several new features like Adaptive Transparency and the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Pro may provide some of the best indications yet of what to expect from the second-generation AirPods Max. Almost two years later, rumors...
new airpods pro ear tips

Apple Explains Why Second-Generation AirPods Pro Ear Tips Are Incompatible With Original AirPods Pro

Thursday September 22, 2022 3:12 pm PDT by
Apple today explained why the new silicone ear tips for the second-generation AirPods Pro are not officially compatible with the original AirPods Pro. In an updated support document, Apple said the original AirPods Pro ear tips have "noticeably denser mesh" than the second-generation ear tips. Apple did not provide any additional details, but the mesh density could result in acoustical...
AirPods Pro Second Generation 2 Pairing Feature 1

AirPods Pro 2 Engravings Appear in iOS During Pairing and Connecting

Friday September 23, 2022 9:40 am PDT by
Customers who personalize their second-generation AirPods Pro charging case with an engraving will now have that engraving reflected directly on iOS as they pair and connect their AirPods Pro. Apple allows customers to personalize their AirPods Pro charging case with a special engraving that can include select emojis and Memojis. Unlike before, starting with the second-generation AirPods...