According to a new report from Jalopnik, Apple may be leasing former Fiat Chrysler proving grounds in Surprise, Arizona to test its self-driving car platform in a range of different conditions.
Citing a source familiar with the matters, the company has been recruiting test engineers from various other proving grounds in the state. The Chrysler grounds were sold to a housing developer in 2005, and later annexed by the City of Surprise, remaining untouched for years.
The grounds are said to provide a variety of driving conditions, such as a speed oval and different grades and surfaces, including places where wet weather could be simulated. Other sections simulate crosswalks and intersections, which are essential in preparing for real-world driving.
Apple has been engaged in limited road tests of modified Lexus SUVs in California. The Arizona facility may be offering a chance to test technology both in controlled conditions and away from the public eye.