Apple all but confirms its Street View rival is coming


What are the LIDAR units doing on this Apple van? Photo: AppleInsider video
To be faire, how would you keep a fleet of large, camera-covered vans a secret? Photo: AppleInsider video

A post on Apple’s site for its Maps app heavily suggests that it’s hard at work on a feature to rival Google’s Street View, which lets users zoom into maps to explore areas from ground level. The company hasn’t officially announced that that is what it’s doing with those camera vans, but we’re running increasingly low on alternative theories.

“Apple is driving vehicles around the world to collect data which will be used to improve Apple Maps,” the Maps page states. “Some of this data will be published in future Apple Maps updates.”

The post also lists areas that its fleet will visit the rest of the month, including Dublin, Ireland; Greater London; Pima County, Arizona; St. Louis, Missouri; and Dallas, Texas.

Apple announced updates to its Maps navigation app at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco this week. Among the changes are mass-transit directions for trains, subways, and ferries, which is a feature that Google Maps already provides. A Street View-style option for Apple Maps would further close the gap between the two apps.

Not that anything is official, of course. All we know right now is that Apple is taking pictures of streets that we will view in Maps.

Maybe they could call it “Road Look.”


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