Apple self-driving test car gets rear-ended by a Nissan Leaf in first ever crash

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One in all Apple’s autonomous automobiles, that are at present driving round Sunnyvale, California and different close by Silicon Valley cities, acquired into its very first crash one week in the past, in accordance with a report filed with the California Division of Motor Automobiles. Like many self-driving automobile crashes, this one was not the software program’s fault.

The Apple automobile, a modified Lexus RX450h SUV carrying particular tools and sensors, was touring at simply 1 mph whereas getting ready to merge onto the Lawrence Expressway in Sunnyvale when a Nissan Leaf rear-ended it going round 15 mph. Apple’s Lexus and the Leaf sustained harm, however neither automobile’s passengers acquired any accidents, the report states.

This isn’t indicative of Apple’s progress on self-driving automobiles in any manner actually, as most self-driving accidents are typically brought on by human error. Though it’s attention-grabbing that so many corporations working autonomous autos in pilot checks report crashes that contain being rear-ended. A report final 12 months from Client Affairs stated that the majority self-driving automobile crashes contain a human driver slamming into the again of a stationary or slow-moving autonomous car.

Apple’s autonomous Lexus SUV was rear-ended whereas ready to merge onto an expressway

That implies autonomous software program makers have plenty of hurdles forward of them that transcend making certain the software program is succesful and secure in all conditions. “A attainable rationalization is that these automobiles don’t drive the identical manner that individuals do,” Phil Koopman, a Carnegie Mellon professor and software program engineer who consults for self-driving automobile corporations, instructed Client Affairs. “And in the event that they don’t drive the identical manner that individuals do, individuals’s expectations of the autos can be incorrect.”

Autonomous software program makers could should bear in mind how people are inclined to behave on the highway and inject a few of that conduct in the event that they wish to keep away from all these crashes sooner or later. The mix of autonomous and human-guided autos will solely improve within the coming years and a long time, pending regulation on whether or not these automobiles shall be eligible for all roads and climate situations, or whether or not they’ll be restricted to sure areas or particular lanes.

For Apple, the crash is a small but inevitable bump within the highway because it continues on its quest to construct self-driving automobile software program. The corporate expanded its fleet of take a look at autos in California to 27 automobiles again in January, and it grew that quantity by 18 extra automobiles in March. The corporate has additionally partnered with Volkswagen to assist create a fleet of self-driving worker shuttles for its Cupertino campus, with the German automaker supplying the automobiles and Apple the software program.

It might be a far cry from the corporate’s rumored authentic imaginative and prescient for Mission Titan, because it was referred to as, which included manufacturing its personal electrical automobile with built-in customized autonomous software program. However Apple seems to be plugging alongside, although it has but to speak publicly about its auto plans.

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