New Apple Maps Cars Spotted in Los Angeles

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,015
11,296



New next-generation Apple Maps vehicles have been seen on the streets of Los Angeles, according to Business Insider. While Apple has previously been using minivans to collect mapping data, the new vehicles are Subaru Impreza wagons.

The Subarus feature new LIDAR equipment that we have not previously seen either on Apple's Maps minivans or on the Lexus SUVs that it is using to test self-driving capabilities in Northern California.


Apple has been collecting street-level data from vehicles equipped with multiple cameras and advanced LIDAR systems since 2015. In fact, its original minivans sparked speculation about work on an autonomous vehicle, which turned out to be true, but the minivans from 2015 on were always dedicated to maps.

Apple is using the data that it has gathered from its mapping vehicles in iOS 12, with the revamped Maps app that's been rebuilt from the ground up for better accuracy and more detail.

Apple is no longer relying on a third-party Maps provider, instead using the information it has collected over the past three years from vehicles driving across the United States and other countries.

The new Maps app, available in California at the current time, offers up improvements to traffic, real-time road conditions, road systems, new construction, and changes in pedestrian walkways along with more detail and accuracy when it comes to displaying foliage like grass and trees, parking lots, building shapes, and more.

It's not clear why Apple has switched to a new type of mapping vehicle, nor what new equipment it is using, but prior setups have included four LIDAR arrays, eight cameras, a GPS rig, a measurement tool attached to a rear wheel for precise distance tracking and image capture, and inside, a Mac Pro for storing all the data.

The new vehicles appear to be limited to Los Angeles at this time, but a similar setup was spotted in San Francisco in an unmarked white Subaru. If Apple is using a new type of mapping vehicle, we could see them in additional areas in the United States soon.

Apple maintains a full list of all of the locations where it is gathering mapping data at any given time for "future Apple Maps updates" on its website.

Article Link: New Apple Maps Cars Spotted in Los Angeles
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,753
2,634
East of Eden
Here's to hoping it doesn't come into contact with a low-hanging telephone wire right as it's struck by lightning. That are would be far too conspicuous in 1985.
OMG, too funny!!!!!! :D. I was thinking...I wonder how many times people have called the police to report some sort of weird spy/snoop vehicle?
 

Scottsoapbox

macrumors 6502a
Oct 10, 2014
981
3,651
Apple maps data in my city is now on par with Google maps, but I still use Google for the traffic data as that matters more here than getting the park paths and other minutia right (which is the only difference on the map data now).
 

TheWatchfulOne

macrumors 6502
Jun 19, 2009
480
406
Here's to hoping it doesn't come into contact with a low-hanging telephone wire right as it's struck by lightning. That are would be far too conspicuous in 1985.
As long as it's not traveling 88mph the instant the lightning strikes... everything should be fine.
 

sully54

macrumors 6502
Sep 15, 2012
265
472
Canada
Looks like apple has been able to place all the cameras and sensors into a smaller package.

The heightt must be in order to keep the view consistent, since most of apple’s data were takes by higher sitting minivans and SUVs.
 

FRVES

macrumors member
Mar 29, 2012
42
14
I did have some issues with Apple Maps yesterday in New Jersey. Wrong information in 5 locations.
 

Sanme

macrumors member
Apr 28, 2017
44
116
Stopped using Waze completely because it's been flaky when I need it, I chart my drive around traffic to work and home primarily using Apple Maps. Less the reliance on Google is better.
And I’m assuming you use bing search engine or you’re a monumental body of knowledge?
 

ghostface147

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2008
3,269
2,873
Google maps still has better traffic info than apple does. At least for me it does here in Houston.
 

MikeAnd

macrumors member
Jan 8, 2008
92
94
Apple maps data in my city is now on par with Google maps, but I still use Google for the traffic data as that matters more here than getting the park paths and other minutia right (which is the only difference on the map data now).
Apple Maps data in my city (SF, and the general Bay Area) is now significantly better than Google Maps, especially for details in places like parks, schools, etc., where they were historically poor. But outside of NorCal — the only area so far with the "new" maps — I'd still expect Google Maps to have better data in most cases.
 
  • Like
Reactions: fh-ace

MacRumorUser78

macrumors member
Jan 9, 2014
30
12
I saw one two days ago in Palos Verdes (SW peninsula in greater Los Angeles). Was turning a corner away from me so didn't get a good look, but I was surprised that it wasn't an SUV. It had the Apple Maps decal.

I generally use Apple Maps for navigation now as I prefer the interface. But it's accuracy in the UK this fall left much to be desired. Couldn't rely on any one nav system. The multiple names of places in Scotland didn't help (Gallic and English of various spellings). Didn't help that we were using throttled T-Mobile.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.