Californian authorities have confirmed that an Apple Autonomous test car was hit by a Nissan Leaf.
Apples self-driving vehicles are modified Lexus RX450h SUVs fitted with sensors and other autonomous driving equipemnt.
One of the benefits of self-driving cars include increased safety. As has been seen happen before, human drivers have posed a problem. This was the case again with the mishap that involved this Apple Autonomous test vehicle.
The Apple Autonomous Test Car Accident
The accident happened as the Apple car was preparing to merge into an expressway, in Sunnyvale, California. It was hit from the rear end by a Nissan leaf driven by a human driver.
Phil Koopman – consultant to self-driving companies stated “…if they (autonomous cars) don’t drive the same way that people do, people’s expectations of the vehicles would be incorrect”.
Both cars involved in the incident sustained damages but no injuries were recorded.
Just to get a feel of what people around think of the idea, I conducted a survey on 60 people. 40% of respondents indicated that they would not be comfortable in an autonomous car, as “it may not be safe”.
Those perceptions will change with time though. Autonomous cars are the future. They will become the norm and be trusted. The other question is that of affordability.
Self-driving cars are not here yet in this part of the world, but when they do I can’t help but wonder about the price and the number of people who will be able to afford them.
That may not be a problem either, as car ownership may not be a big deal in the future. Imagine a fleet of self-driving taxis roaming the city and available for anyone to hail via an app on their smartphone at any time. Who would need to buy a car?