Apple Self-Driving Car Rear-Ended In A Minor Crash
An Apple Inc. self driving car was rear-ended while merging onto an expressway near the tech giant’s Silicon Valley headquarters this month. The company revealed the accident report on Friday and succinctly confirmed its intention to continue building autonomous vehicles.
Apple’s intention to step into this arena were always shrouded in mystery. However, in July, this year, when a criminal complaint was filed against an ex-Apple Inc employee for allegedly stealing self-driving car trade secrets from the Cupertino, the company was compelled to reveal some tidbits about the project. The revelation put light on the fact that the company had at least 5,000 employees working on the project. It was working on circuit boards and a “proprietary chip” related to self-driving cars. Apple has to grapple against stellar rivals like Alphabet Inc’s Waymo unit and traditional carmakers such as General Motors Co’s Cruise Automation. As well as startups such as Silicon Valley’s Zoox.
The report revealed that the Apple vehicle was merging south on the Lawrence Expressway in Sunnyvale, California at less than 1 mile per hour when it was rear-ended by a 2016 Nissan Leaf going about 15 miles per hour. The incident occurred on 24th of August at about 3 p.m. Both the vehicles bore some damage but no injuries were sustained. Under a safety plan filed with California regulators, a human driver must be able to take control of Apple’s self-driving test cars.
Antithetical To Safety?
The safety concern attached with self-driving cars is unsettling for the US transportation regulators. This year Uber Technologies Inc had to shut down its testing efforts. Because one of their vehicles struck and killed a woman in Arizona. The California DMV said it has received it has received 95 autonomous vehicle collision reports as of Aug. 31. Dozens of companies have received permits to test self-driving vehicles on California roads. But those permits require the presence of a human safety driver.
Apple secured a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California last year. It now has the permit to test more than 60 vehicles. Also, last year Apple researchers published their research on cars for the first time in public domain. The report divulged about a software system that could help spot pedestrians easily.
Now it remains to be seen what Apple has in store for us in the domain of autonomous vehicles! Will Apple succeed in revolutionising the way people travel?