Reports surfaced last fall that Apple was opening a new research and development office in Lund, Sweden, continuing a wave of new satellite locations outside of headquarters in Cupertino, California. Rapidus (via tech.eu) has followed up with a new details now claiming that Apple’s been building out operations in Lund over the last several months to develop ‘advanced mapping technology’ for Apple Maps. The ramp up of hiring at the Swedish offices focused on mapping comes four years after Apple bought C3 Technologies, which translated to Apple’s Flyover and 3D features in Maps.
Less secretively, we’ve seen Apple openly collecting new data for improving Apple Maps in recent months with marked vans cruising across the country. These vans were previously mysterious in nature as some were unmarked but traced back to Apple, although the company has since opened up about its fleet of mapping gear-equipped vans, but not until after our report explained them.
But what could ‘advanced mapping technology’ mean for Apple Maps going forward? Apple is currently deep in development on creating its own electric vehicle, the car team said to be working under the code name Project Titan, and autonomous driving features could easily benefit from greater intelligence behind Apple Maps.
Earlier this year 9to5Mac profiled a number of recent hires from the automobile industry now working on Apple’s car team and the wave of hiring has since continued with Apple even making subtle car references as recent events to tease the rumors.
As for Apple Maps immediate future, the post Google Maps-based app is set to receive a major upgrade tomorrow with iOS 9, which adds transit directions in a number of cities across the United States including New York City and San Francisco as well as Berlin, London, Toronto, and throughout China.