While Apple has remained tight-lipped with regards to their self-driving car program, one of their prototypes made the news recently after getting rear-ended near the company’s headquarters in Silicon Valley.
The incident occurred two weeks ago on August 24, and saw one of Apple’s Lexus RX 450h prototypes (in autonomous mode) get rear-ended by a 2016 Nissan Leaf while merging south on the Lawrence Expressway in Sunnyvale, California, reports Automotive News.
The Leaf was traveling at about 15 mph (24 km/h), according to the report posted on the California DMV website. Reportedly, the impact took place just when the Apple vehicle had slowed and was waiting for a gap in traffic in order to complete the merge. The time of day was roughly 3 PM and there is no mention of any difficult weather conditions.
Even though both vehicles were damaged, there were no injuries. Meanwhile, an Apple spokesman refused to further comment on the matter and was unwilling to clarify whether the fault laid entirely with the trailing car.
After securing the right to test autonomous vehicles in California last year, Apple has obtained permits for more than 60 vehicles. The tech giant has also published its first public research on cars, specifically a software system able to help spot pedestrians more readily.
Safety issues concerning autonomous cars have already become a concern for U.S. transportation regulators, especially after one of Uber’s prototypes struck and killed a woman in Arizona, earlier this year. That incident prompted the ride-hailing firm to shut down its autonomous tests temporarily, although they do plan to get the cars back on the road by the end of this year.