Is Apple testing autonomous vehicles in Arizona?

PHOENIX - The Valley has quickly become the hub for testing driverless technology. 

It's no secret Waymo is testing in Chandler and that Uber is testing in Tempe and Scottsdale — but rumors are swirling Apple is doing work in Surprise.

Several sources close to the company believe Apple is leasing the former Chrysler Fiat proving grounds to work on its autonomous technology.

John Lewis, the CEO and President of the East Valley Partnership, has been working with the companies since the very beginning.

"From a regional perspective it's just exciting," he said. 

Lewis said the tech giants chose Arizona because of the friendly business and tax regulations, the climate, and ability to test the vehicles in multiple settings.

"When you ask Waymo why they like to do their testing here, some of it is tied to the climate," he said. "Some of it is also tied to the fact they can do urban and suburban testing and can do freeways and residential streets, too."

Many of the research and supply companies who assist are also in the Valley. For example, General Motors, Garmin and Intel all have local facilities.

So when will we be riding in the back of an autonomous car?

Lewis believes "sooner than you think."

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