Few weeks ago we reported about Apple secretly launching its own “Street View” mapping vans. In June Apple has brought to an end all the speculations and launched the official website devoted to Apple Maps vehicles. We can read there:
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.
There is also official schedule of where the cars will be headed over the next month (starting in the US, UK, and Ireland). But this is the news that you could find on every tech website. Here is what you could find out when reading between the lines.
HOW MANY APPLE MAPPING VANS ARE THERE?
The schedule gives us information about driving plan of the vans but based on it we can also estimate how many Apple vehicles are there. Looking at the initial schedule for June 2015 it seems that there is 1 van in Ireland, 4 in UK (London, East England, South East, West Midlands) and 13 in the US (Tucson, Oakland, Los Angeles, Orlando, Atlanta, Hawaii, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, St. Louis, New York City, Dallas, Fort Worth, Salt Lake City, Seattle). In total 18. In August we can observe increase in the fleet. Three more vans in France, Italy and Sweden, and 14 new vans in the US. It makes it 34 vans and counting. Not too many compared to hundreds of cars in the fleet of TomTom, HERE or Google but it’s a good start and it seems to be growing fast.