Apple met in May with an official from GoMentum Station, a testing ground for autonomous and connected cars, a representative from the Contra Costa Transportation Authority told VentureBeat Friday afternoon. And that official just happened to be the testing facility’s program manager for connected and autonomous vehicle testing.
GoMentum Station is operated by the CCTA. The CCTA’s public affairs director Linsey Willis said the meeting took place at an Apple location in Sunnyvale. She said the meeting was exploratory for Apple, and Apple did not end up testing anything at GoMentum Station.
Willis had no information about the content of the meeting at Apple, and said there was no transcript. She said that the GoMentum Station’s program manager for connected and autonomous vehicle testing, Jack Hall, was the sole CCTA person who met with Apple. Hall has not responded to calls from VentureBeat for a description of the content of the meeting.
Willis did not know the names of the Apple people who attended the May meeting. “A bunch of our team is going to be out of the office at 10:45. How would 9:30 to 10:30 work for you?” one piece of correspondence between Apple and CCTA said.
The information from the CCTA confirms a report in the Guardian earlier today that said Apple engineers met in May with officials from GoMentum Station. The facility is a 2,100-acre former naval base near San Francisco that is now used as a testing ground for autonomous and connected vehicles. The Guardian found out about the meeting after filing a public information request with Contra Costa County.
VentureBeat has since obtained the same documents and is presently reviewing them. One Apple engineer, Frank Fearon, is mentioned in the letter sent when planning the meeting.
An Apple representative telephoned VentureBeat shortly after we requested comment, saying: “We do not comment on rumor and speculation.”
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