AZ Business revealed that Route 14 Investment Partners LLC bought the former Chrysler test site in Wittmann, Arizona for $ 125 million. Insiders claim that Apple is behind the deal, which intends to test its future unmanned electric vehicle at a new site. Allegedly, the IT giant became the owner of the test facility through another firm, but no direct connection could be found between the companies.
Initially, there was a military airfield on the site of the test site, but in the mid-50s of the last century, the territory of more than two thousand hectares was taken over by the Ford Motor Company. In 2007, Chrysler bought it – according to some sources, the deal was $ 34.9 million.
There are several different test zones on the territory: these are sections with concrete or asphalt pavement and off-road sections, a wind tunnel, as well as an eight-kilometer oval track for speed tests and a winding track. In summer, the temperature at the landfill reaches 40 degrees Celsius, and in winter it drops to zero, which makes it possible to test cars in different climatic conditions.
As for the information about the deal with Apple, then, as noted by AZ Business, no direct relationship between Route 14 Investment Partners LLC and the Cupertino-based company was found. At the same time, the publication notes that, probably, the IT giant could have chosen the state of Arizona for testing, since tests of cars without drivers are allowed there.
Earlier it was reported about a possible partnership between Apple and the Japanese car brand Toyota. According to some reports, the automaker may provide Apple with batteries for the future electric car. Other potential battery suppliers include South Korean SK Group and LG Electronics.