An Apple self-driving prototype has been rear-ended on a Silicon Valley expressway, revealing the technology company is still working on autonomous vehicles.
According to a report by Automotive News, filings in a criminal case have confirmed Apple has at least 5000 employees working on its self-driving project. This latest prang seems to give credence to the idea the iPhone could be sold alongside a car, confirming the company moving forward with real-world tests.
The accident involved an Apple Lexus RX450h in autonomous mode, merging onto the Lawrence Expressway in Sunnyvale, California. It was rear-ended by a Nissan Leaf after slowing to find an appropriate gap in traffic, in what must be the most 'California' crash ever to occur.
Although both cars were damaged, there were no injuries reported. There was a safety driver on board the Apple tester, in keeping with the company's agreement with California legislators.
Apple hasn't commented on the accident, and wouldn't apportion blame to the Nissan Leaf.
Countless column inches have been dedicated to Apple and its autonomous plans, but there's still no clear understanding of how it plans to enter the car market.
According to reports in The New York Times, the first stage of its plans involve a self-driving Volkswagen Transporter to ferry employees around its campus in California. Although it'll be built around a Transporter chassis, the car is expected to have its own battery, dashboard, seats, sensor array and processors.
Whether it'll charge through a 30-pin, lightning or USB-C connector, and whether Apple will include the headphone jack, remains to be seen.
The company reportedly wanted to work with BMW or Mercedes-Benz, and met with Nissan, BYD and McLaren, but the talks came to nought. Volkswagen was excited by the chance, as its self-driving technology trails that of its competitors.
It's not known if Volkswagen and Apple will work together after the autonomous employee shuttle project is completed.