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People in San Francisco’s Bay Area have been reporting some strange sightings recently – minivans driving the streets sporting large cameras mounted on the roof. Further research indicates that these vans may indicate that Apple is working on adding a “Street View”-like option to their mapping software.
The vans have an x-shaped device mounted to the luggage racks on the roof, which several reports claim contain several cameras and LiDAR sensors, which use laser-based technology to create mapping imagery. How does this tie in to Apple? San Francisco’s CBS affiliate, KPIX, reached out to the California Department of Motor Vehicles and confirmed that at least one of the vans spotted around the city is currently leased to Apple.
KPIX also reported that they believe the vehicles are using self-driving technology. However, this is highly unlikely, given that Apple has not been given permits for testing such technology. However, a “Street View”-like feature indicates that Apple has high hopes for their mapping software – increased accuracy and additional features such as this would possibly bring their mapping app up to par with the widely-used Google Maps app.
[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]