Apple’s self-driving car has its first confirmed crash


Apple’s self-driving car program has been ramping up. And inevitably, a fleet of cars will wind up getting into a collision sooner or later. 

According to a California DMV report (PDF), Apple’s self-driving car, in this case a modified Lexus RX 450h, had such an accident just last week. It’s Apple’s very first reported autonomous collision on California roads, a DMV spokesperson confirmed to Techhnews.

The report — which appears to have been filed by Apple, not the police or the DMV — suggests that it wasn’t Apple’s fault. The car was barely moving when it got rear-ended by another vehicle, according to Apple’s description:

On August 24th at 2:58 PM, an Apple test vehicle in autonomous mode was rear-ended while preparing to merge onto Lawrence Expressway South from Kifer Road. The Apple test vehicle was traveling less than 1 mph waiting for a safe gap to complete the merge when a 2016 Nissan Leaf contacted the Apple test vehicle at approximately 15 mph. Both vehicles sustained damage and no injuries were reported by either party.

Here’s Google Maps of that location.

This is where Apple’s car would have been. Incredibly, Google’s Street View car *also* had a Nissan Leaf right behind it, when it took this photo. 

Screenshot by Sean Hollister/Techhnews

Apple has a test fleet of 66 autonomous cars in California as of July, up from 27 in January

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bloomberg was the first to report the crash.    

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