The camera-laden vans linked to Apple seen driving around cities aren't a mystery any longer. Apple confirmed they're collecting data for Maps, not a self-driving car project, and is even listing when the vans will be in specific areas.
Apple Maps vans: Coming to a city near you
Apple now has a webpage showing where its Maps vans will be between June 15 and June 30, which includes parts of Ireland and England, as well as cities in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
Apple said it 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." The company also said it will protect privacy by blurring faces and license plates in the data its vans collect.
Maps is Apple's home grown answer to Google Maps. It includes walking and driving directions, business information, and will soon include detailed transit directions, too. Since the vans include multiple cameras, it's a safe bet Apple is working on bringing street views to Maps, much like we already see in Google Maps.
[Some image elements courtesy Shutterstock]