Apple Autonomous Test Vehicle Involved in Accident on August 24

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Apple is testing its self-driving vehicles in a number of Lexus SUVs out on the roads of Cupertino, and on August 24, one of those vehicles was involved in an accident.

Apple is required to disclose autonomous vehicle collisions to the California DMV, and the information on the accident was published on the DMV's website.


According to the accident details, the vehicle in question was in autonomous mode at the time, and sustained moderate damage in the crash, but it does not appear that Apple was at fault for the collision. From the accident report:
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 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.
Apple has been testing its self-driving software in Lexus RX450h SUVs in Cupertino, California and surrounding areas since early 2017, but this is the first time an Apple vehicle has been involved in a crash.

Apple's test vehicles are outfitted with a host of sensors and cameras, and while they are autonomous, each one has a pair of drivers inside. At the current time, Apple is testing its software in more than 60 vehicles.

It's not yet clear what Apple plans to do with its self-driving software, but it could be added to existing cars and there are still rumors suggesting Apple is working on its own Apple-branded vehicle that could come out by 2025.

Apple is also working on a self-driving shuttle service called "PAIL," an acronym for "Palo Alto to Infinite Loop." The shuttle program will transport employees between Apple's offices in Silicon Valley.

Article Link: Apple Autonomous Test Vehicle Involved in Accident on August 24
 

mi7chy

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2014
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With all the sensors merging should be a piece of cake vs stopping on the expressway like what a bad or inexperienced driver would do. Also, doesn't it have collision avoidance like Tesla to avoid those situations?

 
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ppdix

macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2001
610
164
Miami Beach
I have a Level 2 Driving Assistance on my 2018 Audi S5 and it works pretty well but I wouldn't trust it 100%. It saves you a lot of strain, specially in stop and go traffic but the world is not ready for Self Driving cars yet.
In my opinion, the only way for this to work is for ALL cars to be autonomous and to communicate with each other.
There are too many bad drivers out there and the systems are not quick enough to avoid crashes, I know, I use the system every day and u need to stay alert ALL the time.
 

unobtainium

macrumors 68020
Mar 27, 2011
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doesn't it have collision avoidance like Tesla to avoid those situations?
How do you avoid someone rear ending you when you’re at the end of a merge lane? Quickly accelerate into traffic or drive off the road?
[doublepost=1535754907][/doublepost]
With all the sensors merging should be a piece of cake vs stopping on the expressway like what a bad or inexperienced driver would do
Depends how heavy traffic is. A human driver will likely nose his or her way into traffic, assuming that the humans driving the other vehicles will let them in. But an autonomous car likely needs to be more cautious.

AI is capable of being more consistent and rules-focused than human drivers. It is not more intelligent. Not even close.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,442
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Saw one of these self driving cars on the freeway (Apple I believe?) yesterday was shocked to see people driving in such a way to antagonize the vehicle intentionally. The person behind was inches off their bumper. I guess some people like to see the world burn.
I don’t think that’s it, I think people are just negligent and Careless to other people on the roadway today, and they have no due regard to other drivers and traffic laws, I’m not speaking to specifically to this accident between the Leaf and Apple vehicle, but more in relation to your post about people driving to antagonize the Apple vehicle.
 

DakotaGuy

macrumors 601
Jan 14, 2002
4,044
3,340
South Dakota, USA
Humans are dangerous. We need to get them away from behind the wheel as fast as we can.
It’ll take 25+ years for self-driving vehicles to even be the majority of vehicles on the road unless they pass laws that ban vehicles driven by humans at an earlier point. Considering the time it’ll take for the total replacement cycle laws might need to be passed to speed up the process.
 
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jagolden

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2002
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I think some people aren’t reading the article. The Apple car did nothing wrong. It was the Nissan Leaf that collided into the rear because it was following too closely. So if you were claiming injuries while driving the Nissan Leaf, you’re on your own!
Whoa, what am I missing in the article. Where does it say the Leaf was following too closely? Apparently things have changed since I went to driving school but you never stop when merging onto a highway (unless there’s a STOP sign) <1 mph would be considered a stop.

Thank god I live in MA where people know how to drive. Like they say on Big Brother, "Expect the unexpected". No problems.
 

mi7chy

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2014
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How do you avoid someone rear ending you when you’re at the end of a merge lane? Quickly accelerate into traffic or drive off the road?
Ever heard of a shoulder lane? Most countries have it. It's where the remedial human driver or Apple Car should park if inexperienced with merging and not on the expressway. It's also where the responsible driver can swerve into to avoid collision with the remedial driver or Apple Car that decides to stop on the expressway.
 
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xnatex

macrumors member
Nov 19, 2012
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Whoa, what am I missing in the article. Where does it say the Leaf was following too closely? Apparently things have changed since I went to driving school but you never stop when merging onto a highway (unless there’s a STOP sign) <1 mph would be considered a stop.

Thank god I live in MA where people know how to drive. Like they say on Big Brother, "Expect the unexpected". No problems.
In driving school, you learn that the vehicle who rear ends another is at fault no matter what. If you hit someone, you get a ticket for following too closely. There are only two ways to rear end someone -- following too closely, or being distracted and not hitting the brake fast enough.

The article said the Apple car was waiting for a gap in highway traffic while trying to merge. You can't get onto the highway by putting your car inside of another car, that's not how physics work; you have to wait for a gap.

People are on their phones too much these days. The driver of the Leaf was probably texting.
 
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