Apple Inc. To Send Out Maps Vehicles In France, Italy, Sweden

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Starting in August, Apple Maps vehicles will start surveying the streets of France, Italy, and Sweden, the company announced. The cars will be collecting street data in key metro areas throughout Sweden’s Stockholm and the Malmo areas and Seine-Saint-Denis and Hauts-de-Seine areas in France.

Apple explores the world

Apple’s vehicles will also explore areas in Tennessee next month, the company announced. The Cupertino-based tech giant already started obtaining street-level data in many states, including Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon and others. The tech giant said in a blog post: “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.”

MacRumors took the liberty of tracking the vehicles in the United States for the past few months. The first sightings occurred last summer in New York City. Since then, there were more vehicle sightings in major cities throughout the nation.

Apple’s goals for Maps on iOS 9

The data collection is part of the company’s plans to improve Apple Maps and rely less on others to create third-party mapping apps. Apple previously tapped other companies like TomTom to provide data for Apple Maps since the launch. Some speculate Apple plans to launch its own version of Google’s Street View, but it is unlikely to happen considering the company doesn’t have a lot of time to build a sizable image database. The tech company plans to update Maps with the upcoming iOS 9 release, which will include features like public transit and en-route traffic avoidance.

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