We've seen crashes involving self-driving cars from Waymo, Uber and Tesla, but not Apple – until now. As per a report filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, one of Apple's test vehicles was involved in a low speed incident on August 24.
Apparently, the autonomous Apple car was attempting to merge onto an expressway and traveling at only 1 mph when it was rear-ended by a Nissan Leaf, the report says. In other words, the human driver in the Nissan was probably expecting the Apple car (a Lexus) to drive on or just wasn't paying attention to what was ahead.
Both cars sustained damage but no one was injured in the collision. The incident happened in daylight and in good weather, so there were no extenuating circumstances that could have led to either of the cars getting confused.
Keep on self-driving
Considering Apple's self-driving project is on a smaller-scale than its competitors, it's perhaps no surprise that it's taken this long for one of its vehicles to get involved in a smash – albeit a very gentle, low speed kind of smash.
And if you weren't aware Apple was involved in self-driving technology, that's the way the company wants to keep it. Unlike Google, Tesla and Uber, Apple is very secretive about its future automotive plans: if it wasn't for various filings that have to be registered with the California DMV by law, we wouldn't know it was real at all.
Quite what Apple has planned is unclear, and its ambitions as far as cars go seem to have shifted back and forth down the years. It's possible that we will eventually see an actual Apple Car, or maybe Apple will just develop self-driving AI for others to make use of.
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Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.