Apple’s self-driving cars have reached a new milestone. Sadly, it pertains to one of those vehicles being involved in an accident.
According to a report filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, one of Apple’s self-driving cars was rear-ended by a Nissan Leaf while it was attempting to merge with traffic.
The report indicates that the accident, which occurred at about 3 p.m. on August 24, was not the fault of Apple’s car. The self-driving car, which is a modified Lexus RX450h, was traveling at a speed of less than a mile-per-hour while it was attempting to merge onto the highway. The accident occurred when it was rear-ended by a Nissan Leaf, which was going about 15 miles-per-hour. The report indicates that the cars sustained moderate damage, but no injuries were reported.
As is often the case in accidents involving self-driving cars, the wreck appears to be the fault of the human driver rather than Apple’s car. Interestingly enough, many of these accidents involve self-driving cars being rear-ended by human drivers. When speaking to Consumer Reports, Phil Koopman, a software engineer at Carnegie Mellon, suggested that part of the reason for the accidents may be that the autonomous cars do a poor job imitating human drivers.
Of course, not all of the accidents can be blamed on human error. In 2016, Google admitted that it bore some responsibility for a crash that involved one of its self-driving cars. Google’s self-driving division has since split off to form Waymo, which is a separate company under Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company,
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