Apple appears to be readying its own version of Google’s Street View tool, after it revealed it was using cars equipped with cameras to track and photograph locations across the globe for its iOS Maps app.
In a support document on its website, Apple said the vehicles would be on the road in London, Essex, Surrey, Kent and Birmingham, with U.S. cities including New York, San Francisco and Chicago also being mapped.
Apple said the cars would be collecting data between June 15 and June 30.
Preempting security concerns, Apple wrote, “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."
The news points to Apple launching a rival to Google’s controversial, but wildly successful Street View platform. Apple vehicles with cameras have been spotted across the United States in various locations since last summer.
It comes after Apple revealed a series of upgrades for its iOS Maps app at WWDC. Public transport directions will finally form part of its mapping app, a feature which has proved to be a major miss since the service’s launch in 2015.