Since last year, Apple has leased or purchased several real estate properties in the Silicon Valley for its much-rumored Apple car project. The Cupertino company still looks hungry for “large expanses of real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area for their autonomous car operations,” reports the Wall Street Journal. One of the biggest landlords in the Silicon Valley area said Thursday that Apple was looking for an 800,000-square-foot area for its car project.
Not big enough for a factory
Victor Coleman, the CEO of Hudson Pacific Properties, said during the company’s earnings call that there was a “definitive movement” from self-driving car R&D facilities that are now a “hot demand item.” Coleman was addressing investors’ concerns about real estate demand in the area amid a perceived slowdown in the tech sector. Hudson Pacific’s properties house the headquarters of tech giants like Uber and Square.
Coleman told investors that major companies like Apple, Google, Tesla, BMW, Toyota and Ford were hunting for more space in the area. Though Apple’s 800,000-square-foot potential facility seems pretty large, it is not a big enough area for a car factory. Tesla’s Fremont facility is spread over 5.3 million square feet and Google’s headquarters sit on an area of 4.8 million square feet.
New facility to be a testing site for Apple car
Apple’s 800,000 square feet property is likely to be an R&D and testing site. The Apple car project, codenamed Project Titan, has gained momentum after going through a rough patch earlier this year. More than 1,000 employees are currently working on the project. The Cupertino company has just hired an ex-Google employee with extensive expertise in electric vehicle charging.
The iPhone maker recently hired Chris Porritt, the former Tesla TV of vehicle engineering, to lead the Apple car team. Apple has also set up a secret facility in Berlin to develop innovative technologies. The Silicon Valley Business Journal reported last month that all of Apple’s secret facilities related to the car project have been named after Greek mythological characters.