Apple Self-Driving Car Needed a Realignment After Clipping Curb in Autonomous Mode

One of Apple's self-driving test vehicles was involved in a minor incident on September 27, according to a filing made with the California DMV [PDF].

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The self-driving vehicle, which was operating in autonomous mode at the time, clipped a curb while going 13 miles per hour. There was no damage reported, but the car did require a realignment.

A test vehicle, operating in autonomous mode in Sunnyvale and turning right from Mathilda Avenue onto Del Ray Avenue, made contact with a curb at approximately 13 miles per hour. While there was no tire or wheel damage, the contact resulted in misalignment. No other agents were involved, no injuries were reported, and law enforcement was not called to the scene.

The incident occurred when the vehicle was turning right from Mathilda Avenue onto Del Ray Avenue, a location that is right near Apple's Mathilda Avenue location.

Apple's self-driving vehicles have been involved in several very minor accidents, but most have been caused by other drivers and while not in autonomous mode. This is the second event that has occurred where an Apple vehicle was being operated in autonomous mode.

Apple has been testing its self-driving software since early 2017, using the aforementioned Lexus RX 450h vehicles outfitted with sensors and cameras in the area around its Cupertino campuses. The work on autonomous driving is part of Apple's longtime car project, and rumors suggest Apple is planning to release a vehicle in the mid to late 2020s.

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Top Rated Comments

KurtWilde Avatar
36 months ago
something no driver operated car has ever done
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dannyyankou Avatar
36 months ago

But people do it all the time
But these are the types of things autonomous vehicles are supposed to fix
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
davidjschloss Avatar
36 months ago

Imagine if there was a kid there.
It said it hit the curb, not that it jumped the curb. It also clearly misidentified the curb, there's no indication that if a person was there the system would't have seen that.

But in any case, you can't what if this. What if it wasn't an Apple car but a distracted driver?

I'm too lazy to look up the data for car v pedestrian injuries per vehicle mile, or even a guess for how often someone hits a curb where someone *might* be, but my town just installed a traffic calming island near a school so it's safer for pedestrians to cross in front of human drivers. So no matter the scenario, autonomous cars are going to be safer than human-driven ones.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cpragman Avatar
36 months ago
My car needed an alignment after sliding into a curb at low speed on an icy day. Why is this news?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KurtWilde Avatar
36 months ago

Even though it's an incredibly minor incident, hitting the curb seems like something that should be very easy to avoid.
But people do it all the time
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nvmls Avatar
36 months ago
Still better than humans interacting with phones while driving.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)