One of Apple’s self-driving Lexus SUVs was involved in an accident in Cupertino, California on Aug. 24. The car was rear-ended by a Nissan Leaf, according to details published on the California Department of Motor Vehicles website and first reported MacRumors.
The posted details say Apple’s vehicle was in autonomous mode at the time of the accident and sustained moderate damage. It doesn’t appear that the company’s car was at fault for the collision.
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.
This appears to be the first time an Apple test vehicle was involved in a crash. Since at least 2017, Apple has been testing a fleet of Lexus SUVs as part of the company’s ongoing, secretive Project Titan automotive project.
Until recently, it looked like Apple’s driving ambitions didn’t extend past improving its CarPlay technology. In recent weeks, however, it has become increasingly more likely the company plans on developing and releasing a so-called “iCar” in five to seven years.
Apple isn’t the only company testing autonomous vehicles and having vehicles involved in accidents. Earlier this year, one of Uber’s self-driving cars hit a bystander in Arizona who later died. In March, a Tesla driver was killed during a semi-autonomous driving test.
A January report said the iPhone maker has at least 50 cars on the road for testing. That number has risen since then.