One of Apple’s vehicles that's testing self-driving hardware/software was involved in a fender bender on Aug. 24. According to the accident details — as noted by MacRumors — the vehicle in question was in autonomous mode at the time, and sustained moderate damage in the crash.
“On August 24th at 2:58 p.m., an Apple vehicle in autonomous mode was rear-ended while preparing to merge onto Lawrence Expressway South from Kifer Road,” the accident report says. “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.”
The tech giant has been testing its self-driving software in Lexus RX450h SUVs in Cupertino, California, and surrounding areas since early 2017.
Apple is now believed — at least by the Sellers Research Group — to be working on autonomous driving software, not a full vehicle. By using standard off-the-shelf equipment to work the kinks out of the algorithms needed to safely drive a vehicle on city streets, Apple ensures that its technology can be adapted to almost any future vehicle with built-in -- and much less obtrusive -- hardware.