Two Apple Self-Driving Cars Involved in Accidents in Same Month, No Injuries Reported

Apple car spotted in traffic in 2017 7 photos
Photo: Bloomberg
Apple self-driving car in 2017Apple Self-driving car spottedLexus RC450 hLexus RX 450 hFront right side Lexus RX 450 hLexus RX right rear side
Testing a ground-breaking technology on a car involves many risks, which the Cupertino-based tech giant was willing to take, but this was unexpected.
Apple test cars are not just some tiny, hard-to-see vehicles. Maybe their only flaw is that they are white. But if a driver can't see a Lexus RX450h with lots of roof equipment, they might require an eye exam.

On August 19th, in San Diego, one of the Apple cars was hit on the right-front bumper by a Hyundai Sonata who was reversing out of a parking lot. It was daylight, a dry and beautiful morning, when that accident happened (09:30 AM). At the time of the impact, the Apple car was not in autonomous driving mode. Its driver just couldn't avoid the reversing car since it was already stopped. Both vehicles suffered minor damages. The Lexus needs a new front bumper.

Four days away, in Cupertino, next to the Apple Park campus, another Apple self-driving car was involved in a minor accident. This time, the Lexus RX450h carrying all the equipment was read-ended by a Subaru Outback who was also reversing but, this time, it was the right rear fender and bumper that took the hit for the Lexus. It was around 8:30 PM, and it was dark outside.

Still, the weather was nice, and the sky was clear. Worth mentioning that the Apple car was in manual mode, and it was stopped. See the attached accident report below.

Interestingly, these are the first two collisions since September 2019 for Apple self-driving cars, and, according to California DMV, they covered more than 18,000 miles in 2020.

Apple began testing its self-driving cars in 2017 and installed all the equipment on Lexus RX450h hybrid SUVs, and the testing program went well. Strangely though, it looks like the tech giant will have an autonomous system ready for self-driving before it has a car to install it on.
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 Download: Apple car accident (PDF)

About the author: Tudor Serban
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Tudor started his automotive career in 1996, writing for a magazine while working on his journalism degree. From Pikes Peaks to the Moroccan desert to the Laguna Seca, he's seen and done it all.
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