IF YOU WORK as an Apple Genius in one of the California stores, you may end up with an unusual repair this week.
Alongside garden-cracked iPhone screens and water-logged MacBooks, someone may try and return a lightly-dented self-driving car. Yes, Apple's secretive self-driving car project - the grandiosely named Project Titan - has had its very first accident! Sunrise, sunset.
Gratifyingly for Apple, it doesn't sound like it was the car's fault. Rather, it sounds like the blame lies with the human driver in the car behind. According to the DMV report first dug up by The Verge, Apple's vehicle was trundling along at under 1mph looking for a safe space to merge onto Lawrence Expressway when a 2016 Nissan Leaf went into the back of it at 15mph.
Nobody was hurt, but both cars "sustained damage," apparently. This is why you always take out Applecare.
While the DMV must be enjoying an unusual traffic spike, the report itself isn't hugely noteworthy and the description of the crash would hardly qualify as a page-turner even if it managed to hit enough words to fill a page. What is noteworthy is that this is the first time Apple's autonomous cars have had an accident, which is a rite of passage everyone in the self-driving car space has to go through eventually.
Although driverless vehicles are significantly safer than their fallible, squishy human counterparts, the more miles undertaken, the more likely something is to go wrong. Especially when they're sharing the same roads with said fallible, squishy humans.
And while Apple will hope this isn't the first of many, there is plenty of time to look at the data and see what can be learned from this. Analysts reckon you won't be queuing at midnight for your first Apple Car until at least 2023. µ
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