Have you seen those mysterious Apple vans cruising around the California area? The camera-equipped vans have been the focus of speculation for a while now. Are they for mapping, self-driving cars, or perhaps something else altogether? If you guessed mapping, give yourself a cookie!
Apple has revealed their vans are gathering images and data for use in an Apple street mapping app. The vehicles are set to take street-level images and data for Apple Maps for both iOS and OS X, as an obvious direct competitor to Google Maps and their Street View service.
“We are committed to protecting your privacy while collecting this data,” Apple said in the notice. “For example, we will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication.”
While this doesn’t have anything to do with self-driving cars right now, it would come as no surprise if Apple also plan to use the data they gather for their self-driving car technology, much in the same way Google has done, but for now, it seems this will be limited to the mapping service. Can they really compete with Google Street View? That remains to be seen, but for Apple users, any improvement to the mapping services offered is no bad thing.
Apple’s mapping vans are set to hit the streets of Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Texas, Utah, and Washington State. In the UK, Essex, Greater London, Kent, and Birmingham. Finally, in Ireland, the greater Dublin area.
Thank you The Register for providing us with this information.