Apple Self-Driving Vehicle Involved in Rear-End Collision in California
SUNNYVALE, CA. – September 1, 2018 (bbc.com) A self-driving car owned by Apple was involved in a rear-end collision in Sunnyvale, California, according to an online news report from bbc.com.*
California’s road authority confirmed that the collision occurred at approximately 3 p.m. on August 24. A Nissan Leaf with a human driver rear-ended a self-driving Lexus RX450h on the Lawrence Expressway ramp off Kifer Road.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles said conditions were dry and clear that day, and the Lexus was traveling less than 1 mph “waiting for a safe gap to complete the merge [onto Lawrence Expressway South] when a 2016 Nissan Leaf contacted the Apple test vehicle at approximately 15 mph.” The DMV reported that no one was injured, but both vehicles sustained damage.
The collision might be part of a pattern of human drivers rear-ending self-driving vehicles. A recent report from The Information indicates several instances of humans not responding in time to autonomous vehicles’ cautious driving habits. The cars stop abruptly in scenarios where human drivers might continue driving, like turning in front of a line of traffic or pushing into a merge lane.
The Lexus involved in the California collision is part of a rather secretive development effort by Apple, known as Project Titan. Apple has not publicly commented on the collision, which is understood to have been the first involving an Apple automobile. It’s not clear whether Apple is seeking to develop its own line of vehicles or is working toward outfitting existing vehicles with new technology. The company reportedly has 66 self-driving cars on the roads, with 111 drivers registered to operate them.
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