A portrait of Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs is seen on a BMW car as people wait for the release of Apple's new iPhone 5S and 5C, near the Apple Store at Tokyo's Ginza shopping district September 19, 2013, a day before the phones go on sale / Reuters

Documents show Apple is further along with ‘Project Titan’ than expected and confirm for first time that the car is being built, Guardian claims

Apple is definitely working on a self-driving car and is further along with the project than had been previously thought, according to reports.

The company is already scouting locations to test out the technology, showing that the car is more developed than previous reports have suggested, according to documents seen by The Guardian.

But the reports do not definitively suggest that Apple would be taking its cars to the testing ground. Official comments quoted by the paper only suggest that Apple is looking to scope out the testing ground and seem not to mention the autonomous car project by name.

Apple has long been rumoured to be working on the technology, under the codename Project Titan, but the timeframe and even its existence have been mostly a mystery. The new documents reportedly show that the company has a car that it is looking to test in a secretive former naval base near San Francisco, the paper claims.

The company’s Special Project group has met with representatives of GoMentum Station, the 2,100-acre test area, according to the documents. It has previously been used by companies including Mercedes-Benz and Honda to test out prototypes of self-driving vehicles, since they can be hidden inside the base away from prying eyes.

The documents show Apple engineer Frank Fearon telling the company that: “We would… like to get an understanding of timing and availability for the space, and how we would need to coordinate around other parties who would be using [it],” the Guardian reported. The paper said that it had received the documents under a public records act request.

Apple’s rumoured Project Titan car was previously considered to be in its early stages, and potentially one of the many projects that the company is said to work on and then reject. But the fact that the cars appear to be at the testing stage may suggest that the car is more developed than had been rumoured.

Others have said that Apple may instead be working on technology with cars, rather than looking to replace the car entirely. That could include expanding technology like its CarPlay system, which at the moment works with existing in-car infotainment systems to bring the features of the iPhone to the vehicle’s dashboard.

The company is said to be working with BMW, which has created electric vehicles of its own, on the project. It has also hired its own automotive and battery experts, according to reports.