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Apple Maps vehicles to start touring Scotland & Wales later this month

Apple Maps vehicles will begin collecting street-level data in Scotland and Wales for the first time later in October, according to an updated schedule.




Vehicles will initially roam Fort William in Scotland, and Bridgend County Borough in Wales. Exact dates are unknown, but collection should kick off sometime between Oct. 9 and 22, ending by Nov. 5.

Apple has been vague about the reasons for needing vehicles, saying only that it wants to "collect data which will be used to improve Apple Maps," some of which should be "published in future Apple Maps updates." Like Google, the company has said it's blurring any faces and license plates in recorded images.

Apple, though, doesn't have an equivalent of the Street View mode in Google Maps, which suggests either that it will eventually add one, or that the company is simply looking to obtain high-level road detail. Indeed Apple's vehicles are fitted not just with cameras but advanced sensors such as LiDAR.

Apple could conceivably apply the data to its self-driving car platform. Work is currently believed to be focused on software, with the eventual goal of use in a ridehailing service —likely a partner firm however, rather than one run by Apple.