What’s that driving through Oakland? Apple retraces Google Street View maps

Eight years after the introduction of Google Street View, rival Apple is unleashing its camera-equipped vehicles this month to map the streets of Oakland, Los Angeles and other cities in the United States, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

“Apple is driving vehicles around the world to collect data which will be used to improve Apple Maps,” the company said in a blog post Wednesday.

Apple did not respond to requests for comment about what the vehicles will look like and if they will be marked with the Apple logo, but an automatic message from the mapping service’s email account said that “with our vehicles, we’re working on an exciting new way to explore the world around you on your iPhone, iPad, or iTouch.”

The vehicles that will take to public streets from June 15 to the end of the month will be charting territory already mapped by the well-marked cars of Google and Nokia’s Here division, the latter of which is now up for sale and being eyed by car makers and Uber. Along with Oakland and LA, Apple’s vehicles will be mapping U.S. cities including New York City, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Orlando, Detroit and Seattle. In Europe, their first stops will include Dublin, London and Birmingham.

Apple said in its announcement that it will blur faces and license plates before publishing the images its vehicles collect.

Earlier this year, media outlets confirmed that mysterious, LIDAR-equipped Dodge Caravans seen driving around Contra Costa County with tinted windows belonged to Apple. Despite speculation that the minivan was driving itself, Apple is not one of the companies with a permit to test autonomous vehicles on public streets in California, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Above: Screenshot of Apple Maps on the iPhone, showing the present location of this reporter and Oakland City Hall.

 

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  • rxlawdude

    Ah, Apple playing catch up. The Force is weak with this one.

    • Brian Topping

      Actually, Apple is going go get the job done for pennies in the dollar spent by their competitors to perfect the technology and techniques and when I look at their market capitalization, it doesn’t seem to have affected their force one bit.

      • rxlawdude

        Fan boy much? What part of playing catch up don’t you get?

  • Brian Topping

    Actually, they are going go get the job done for pennies in the dollar spent by their competitors to perfect the technology and techniques and when I look at their market capitalization, it doesn’t seem to have affected their force one bit.

  • apple SUCKS

    CrApple COPYING AGAIN. hahahaha. then they fool, brainwash, mislead, Lie,……..they were 1st and invented this. The sad part is, iSHEEP will buy it and will say”””CrApple is so amazing with this map technology, they just keep inventing and inventing, we will wait in-line for years now, to get the latest iJUNK”””(while they are getting lost, LOL).

 
 
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