Could $125M Land Deal In Arizona Start More Apple Car Testing?

According to real estate tracking website Vizda, a Delaware-based entity managed by GreenbergTraiG paid $125 million for the former Chrysler Proving Grounds at Wittman in the West Valley. The most interesting aspect of the Blockbuster deal for 5,458 acres is that some reports say Apple is behind the unit, meaning the site is likely to become the primary testing base for the Apple Car – Apple’s autonomous vehicle that will be available for many years. Has been in development since years.

The seller of the land was iStar. In November 2017, it was reported that Apple had leased the former Chrysler Proving Grounds for self-driving platform testing. This feature allows driving at different speeds, including simulated wet roads, intersections and intersections. Now, reports indicate that Apple has bought the land.


Read also: Waymo helps PHX East Valley become a hot spot for autonomous vehicles


“Apple can lead the convergence of the automotive and information technology industries in the mobility of the future,” said Japanese chemist Akira Yoshino, inventor of the first safe, production-viable lithium-ion battery, in a recent interview with Reuters. . “I think they might announce something soon. And what kind of car will they announce? What kind of battery? They probably want to arrive around 2025. If they do, I think they should Something will have to be announced by the end of this year. It’s just my personal vision.”

A potential move by Apple to conduct more testing in Arizona is understandable as the state has become a hot spot for autonomous vehicle testing and development. In 2015, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed an executive order allowing the testing and operation of driverless vehicles on certain public roads. Arizona is committed to hosting the emergence of new technologies and state officials believe that testing and operating driverless cars can have social benefits such as eliminating traffic and congestion, increased safety, Reducing parking needs and mobility options. This is just one reason why companies like Waymo have chosen to do business in Arizona and why Phoenix is ​​one of the top cities for driverless cars. with this:

• In 2016, after an intensive selection process and 60 locations considered, Lucid Motors selected Arizona as the location to build its car manufacturing facility. Expected to bring in more than 2,000 jobs and $700 million in capital investment, Arizona is one of the top autonomous car friendly states as well as Mexico, making itself a prime location due to its cross-border supply chain, favorable business environment and accessibility. . For top talent.

• In 2018, Ducey signed an executive order in partnership with Intel, Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, the University of Arizona and other public and private organizations to create the Institute for Automated Mobility (IAM), which works with the state Will cooperate -Arts Research in Arizona. The institute aims to advance all aspects of autonomous vehicles, from science to safety to policy.

Apple’s expansion into the self-driving car market has been widely reported, but the company’s motivation in the autonomous vehicle sector remains unknown. Here’s what we know:

• In December 2020, it was confirmed that Apple is working to launch a self-driving car and plans to release a vehicle in three to six years. Reuters has said Apple is aiming for 2024, but Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo thinks a car won’t launch until 2025 to 2027 at the earliest, and Apple is still in the lead, according to MacRumors. and overcoming management issues.

• Apple has the third largest fleet of autonomous test cars in California after Waymo and GM Cruise.

• In May, Apple was rolling out 68 test vehicles in California, according to data shared with the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

• Apple increased the number of self-driving car pilots to 92, up from 76 drivers in May. As MacReports notes, more pilots have been added after Apple nearly halved the number of licensed drivers in its program earlier this year, according to AppleInsider.

• According to MacRumors, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the car will be Apple’s “next star product”, with “hardware, software, and hardware” compared to potential competitors in the automotive market with Apple-designed chips. better integration of services”. Manufactured by TSMC. An EETimes analyst suggests that the chip may be called “C1” and may be based on the A12 Bionic processor. Kuo also believes that Apple’s early vehicle chassis could be based on Hyundai’s e-GMP electric vehicle (BEV) platform. The Apple Car is likely to be marketed as a “very high-end” model or “quite high” compared to a standard electric vehicle.

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