Apple is driving vehicles around the world to collect data which will be used to improve Apple Maps. Some of this data will be published in future Apple Maps updates.
We are committed to protecting your privacy while collecting this data. For example, we will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication.
We first speculated back in February that this was the likely reason for the camera-equipped minivans leased by Apple, at a time when many were suggesting they were test beds for self-driving cars.
If you fancy trying to photobomb one of Apple’s camera vans, the company has posted a list of the locations they will be visiting later this month …
As well as thirteen locations in the U.S., Apple vans are also visiting four regions in England, plus Dublin and surrounding areas in Ireland.
Apple Maps has so far relied on third-party mapping data, the bulk of it supplied by TomTom. The famed Apple Maps glitches (some of them rather beautiful) were in large part the result of relying on automated processes to integrate mapping data from disparate sources.