Apple’s autonomous car project is an open secret in Silicon Valley. The latest update comes from a report on Jalopnik that asserts Apple is leasing the a proving ground previously owned by Fiat-Chrysler.
Apple was added to the list of 29 other companies, including Tesla, Google, Ford and Mercedes, that are testing or planning to test self-driving vehicles in the state of California, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles’s (DMV) website Friday.
The permit allows Apple to test vehicles in autonomous mode on public roads.
It’s unclear if Apple sought to obtain a permit because it wanted to test-drive its own autonomous vehicles or if the company was simply looking to experiment with the rumored autonomous driving features in a future CarPlay version.
Musa Tariq, Apple’s executive, is leaving the company to join Ford, the car maker said Tuesday.
Tariq was Apple’s global marketing and communications director for retail for a little more than two years. At Ford, he will be Vice President and Chief Brand Officer, a new position created as the company focuses on new mobility services.