Sunday 2 September 2018 12:16 pm

Apple reaches a new self-driving car milestone in its first road accident

A test vehicle from Apple's self-driving car programme was involved in a road accident near its Silicon Valley headquarters last month, making Apple the latest tech giant to join a recent spate of autonomous driving incidents.

One of Apple's Lexus RX 450h self-driving vehicles was preparing to join a motorway in Sunnyvale on 24 August when it was rear-ended by a Nissan leaf, a report published by the company on Friday with the Californian Department of Motor Vehicles revealed.

The Apple car was driving at approximately 1 mile per hour, while the Nissan Leaf was driving at 15 miles per hour. No one was hurt during the incident, and an Apple spokesperson declined to say which car was at fault in the collision when asked by Reuters.

The report confirms Apple's continued participation in the race to build self-driving cars, in a sector that is flooded with competition from the likes of Uber, Alphabet's Waymo, General Motor's Cruise and Tesla to name but a few.

Read more: Apple has bought an augmented reality startup to rival Microsoft's Hololens

Apple's so-called Project Titan has been largely kept under wraps, with only a few details on the project having been leaked so far via an ongoing legal dispute with a former employee.

The criminal court case filed last month confirmed Apple has approximately 5,000 employees working on its self-driving car tech, which includes designs for a "proprietary chip" and circuit boards.

Apple began testing its driverless vehicles on Californian roads last year, and now has more than 60 vehicles in permitted trials. 

Safety concerns surrounding the testing of self-driving cars have been rising, after a collision between a pedestrian and an autonomous Uber vehicle in March left one woman dead.