Rumored Apple-linked firm buys Arizona vehicle testing site

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Amid "Apple Car" rumors, an automotive testing site in Arizona reportedly used by Apple has been purchased by the mysterious firm who has leased the site for years.

The 5,458-acre site is located near Phoenix, Arizona and was formerly used by Chrysler as a vehicle proving ground. Delaware-based company Route 14 Investment Partners LLC has purchased the site for $125 million in cash, AZ Big Media reported Friday.

Route 14 is an entity managed by the law office of Greenberg Traurig, hiding its true ownership, though some believe that the company is connected to Apple.

Back in November 2017, it was reported that Route 14 leased the Arizona testing site in 2015. The company itself was incorporated in 2015 in Delaware and was registered under the Corporation Trust Company. As media reports indicated at the time, Apple has a mail dropbox at the CTC office.

On Friday, MacRumors reported that it had seen a deed and an assumption of an existing development agreement confirming that the purchase date was June 25, 2021.

Although no direct link has been confirmed between Route 14 and Apple, news of the test site's purchase comes amid a slew of rumors surrounding Apple's self-driving car project.

Back in August, reports suggested that Apple had made contact with multiple electric vehicle component manufacturers. More recently, a report on Thursday indicated that Apple executives might be visiting car manufacturers in Korea and Japan. On Friday, news broke that Apple had apparently hired two ex-Mercedes engineers to serve on a special projects team.

In addition to the supply chain reports, Apple also tests self-driving vehicles on public roads in California. Recently, the Cupertino tech giant expanded its fleet of autonomous test vehicles, suggesting a ramp-up in development.