Apple’s latest self-driving car crash is just another fender bender

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Apple car
Why are Waymo's self-driving cars involved in so many more crashes than Apple's?
Photo: Aristomenis Tsirbas/Freelancer

A car designed to test Apple’s self-driving system was involved in a minor accident Monday, but a human was driving at the time. This is only the second such crash of an Apple car on record.

Google, and its autonomous vehicle spinoff Waymo, haven’t been so lucky over the years.

Apple’s self-driving car fleet lags behind Waymo and GM

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Apple Car
Apple's Lexus is decked out in sensors.
Photo: Bloomberg

Apple’s fleet of self-driving cars is expanding at an astonishing pace after starting with just three vehicles a year ago.

New records posted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles reveals that Apple currently has the third largest number of autonomous cars in the state, but it’s closing the gap on the Google’s self-driving car project that holds the number two spot.

Apple could fix Tesla’s crippling production problems

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Tesla
Apple expertise could help Tesla meet its production goals for the Model 3. And Tesla could help create the iCar.
Photo: Tesla

Tesla is struggling to get its cars into customer’s hands. Apple is quietly developing its own self-driving car. The two should team up, according to one investor.

Apple would provide its long experience in bringing high tech products to market. Tesla would contribute fresh ideas to the partnership.

Why Apple should build a car

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Apple's Car
Something like this concept Apple car would become a reality if a couple of analysts are correct.
Photo: Aristomenis Tsirbas/Freelancer

For the last few years, Apple has been investigating making autonomous cars, even though this is well outside its core competency of computers and their accessories.

The move leaves many observers scratching their heads, but a pair of analysts put together reasons why self-driving automobiles should be Apple’s next product category.

Apple now has second biggest fleet of self-driving test cars in California

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lexus
The 2015 Lexus RX450h is Apple's vehicle of choice.
Photo: Lexus

Apple still hasn’t publicly announced its plans when it comes to autonomous cars. However, in the meantime it continues to grow its fleet of self-driving test cars — which are now the second largest in the state of California.

At present, Apple has 55 self-driving vehicles that it is testing on public roads. That’s up from just three in April 2017, little over one year ago. In March this year, that number was at 45. Apple lags only behind GM Cruise, which has 104 test vehicles on the road.

Today in Apple history: Apple teams with Volkswagen for VW iBeetle

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The first Apple car, a collaboration with VW known as the iBeetle, rolls onto the scene.
The first Apple car, a collaboration with VW known as the iBeetle, rolls onto the scene.
Photo: Volkswagen

April 22: Today in Apple history: Apple teams with VW for the iBeetle April 22, 2013: The world gets its first Apple car. Well, kind of.

In reality, the iBeetle is a collaboration with German carmaker Volkswagen that offers a car “stylistically linked” to Apple. This means Apple-inspired colors, a built-in docking station for your iPhone, and a special app that lets you control the car’s features.

Apple’s self-driving car fleet gets way bigger

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Apple car
Apple's Lexus has been upgraded with lots of new sensors.
Photo: Idiggapple/Twitter

Apple is revving up its efforts to catch its competitors in the self-driving car market.

The company has aggressively expanded its fleet of vehicles used to test its autonomous driving systems, according to a new filing that shows the company added nine times as many cars over the last year.

Every Apple Car on the road will make the others smarter

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Apple car
Apple's Lexus has been upgraded with lots of new sensors.
Photo: Idiggapple/Twitter

Apple is investigating new ways to make self-driving care systems drive more like humans, based on a recent patent filing from the iPhone-maker.

The USPTO finally published Apple’s first patent application related to autonomous vehicle systems today, giving some insight into the strategies Apple might use to make its mark in the emerging self-driving car market.

Apple’s AI experts are working to make self-driving cars smarter

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Apple's Car
The autonomous Apple Car as spotted last month.
Photo: diggapple/Twitter

Apple may have just reignited rumors about its Apple Car ambitions by publishing an online research paper — describing how neural networks can be used to detect autonomous car-friendly objects in 3D point clouds.

The results could be used to help improve accuracy in LiDAR technology, in which pulsed laser light is used to measure the distance of objects.