An Apple self-driving car has been involved in a collision – the first for the iPhone maker. The accident proves that the group, whose efforts in this sphere had been shrouded in secrecy, is in the race to make autonomous cars.
The crash took place near the city of Sunnyvale, California, not far from the company’s headquarters, on August 24, according to a report filed by Apple’s Program Director Steve Kenner to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
The test vehicle, a Lexus RX450h, was in autonomous mode when it “was rear-ended while preparing to merge onto Lawrence Expressway South from Kifer Road,” the document stated.
The Apple car was traveling at less than 1.6kph, “waiting for a safe gap” in traffic to complete the merge, when a 2016 Nissan Leaf collided with it at approximately 24kph. Both vehicles sustained damage, but no injuries were reported. Apple stated that the car was “moderately” damaged in the accident.
Why are these ‘test’ vehicles even allowed onto main roads in the first place?
Surely there should be an area off-road where they can mimic street conditions to test there first?