By AZ Business Magazine | AZ Big Media
A Delaware-based entity managed by Greenberg Traurig paid $125 million for the former Chrysler Proving Grounds in Wittmann in the West Valley, according to the real estate tracking website Vizzda. The most interesting aspect of the blockbuster deal for the 5,458 acres is that some reports say Apple is behind the entity, which means the site is likely to become the primary testing grounds for the Apple Car — Apple’s autonomous vehicle that has been in development for several years.
The seller of the land was iStar. In November 2017, it was reported Apple had leased the former Chrysler Proving Grounds for self-driving platform testing. The facility allows for driving at a variety of speeds, including simulated wet roads, crosswalks, and intersections. Now, reports indicate Apple has purchased the land.
“Apple could lead the convergence of the automotive and information technology industries in future mobility,” said Japanese chemist Akira Yoshino, the inventor of the first safe, production-viable lithium-ion battery, in a recent interview with Reuters. “I think they may announce something soon. And what kind of car would they announce? What kind of battery? They probably want to get in around 2025. If they do that, I think they have to announce something by the end of this year. That’s just my own personal hypothesis.”