Apple’s self-driving car fleet has experienced two accidents within a week of each other.
As reported by MacRumors, two of Apple’s self-driving cars have been in minor accidents this month. The California DMV posted reports of each accident this week showing that, in both cases, someone rear-ended Apple’s cars while they were idle in traffic.
The first incident [PDF] occurred in San Diego, California in the Hillcrest area on August 19. The Lexus RX 450h was stopped in traffic and was hit by a Hyundai. The accident was described as minor with no injuries.
The second accident [PDF] occurred on August 23 in Cupertino, California, right near the Apple Park campus. The vehicle with Apple’s self-driving equipment was in manual mode and it was stopped in traffic when it was rear ended by a Subaru Outback.
Thankfully each accident was minor and in neither case was it the fault of Apple’s self-driving cars. This is great news as, if it went the other way, it would be quite worrisome for anyone who is interested in eventually purchasing the company’s rumored electric Apple Car.
Apple has been recently adding to its self-driving fleet. A report from the beginning of August noted that the company has expanded the number of drivers for its fleet by 20 percent:
Now, according to the California DMV, a little more than two months later, we see that Apple has added another car to its fleet for a total of 69 vehicles with an autonomous vehicle permit registered with the California DMV. They have also added back a significant number of drivers since May. They now, as of July 30th, have 92 driver permits – up from 76 in May. The number of drivers is still down significantly from October 2020 when we reported that Apple had 154 driver permits.
Rumors continue to swirl around Apple releasing its own electric car. The latest projections show the company releasing Apple Car as early as 2025, but most expect a release closer to 2030.