Thanks to state legislation, all self-driving car tests conducted are to be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Because of this, we know that Apple is testing self-driving cars on the public roads of California. If it weren’t for this rule, Apple would probably keep the whole project secret in Apple style fashion. This week, Apple filed a report that its self-driving car was involved in a crash.
Here is an excerpt from the report,
On October 15th at 10:28 AM, an Apple test vehicle in manual mode was side swiped while preparing to turn left onto Stewart Drive from North Wolfe Road. The Apple test vehicle was traveling at approximately 5 MPH when a Toyota Camry traveling at approximately 15 MPH crossed out of its lane and contacted the Apple test vehicle. Both vehicles sustained minor damage and no injuries were reported. The police were notified that the driver of the Toyota Camry left without exchanging information.
It seems that the accident was only minor and also to note that the car was in MANUAL mode at the time. No fault was it due to the software. Compared to others, Apple’s self-driving cars may have less reported accidents especially after the expose of Anthony Levandowski’s stint at Waymo last week.
The story goes to great length to show that prior to legislation which required all tech companies to disclose all crashes, Waymo had multiple dangerous crashes in the early days and that even an executive was injured and required surgery.
This goes to show that Waymo still leads because of the number of miles they have tested and compared to the others, seem to be miles ahead of the competition. At the crux of it all, experience taught to the AI computer is key to getting a better and safer self-driving solution.