Well we haven’t seen one yet for ourselves, but we know they’re out there. Apple has today revealed that Apple Maps vehicles are in Australia and have begun their journey to collect photos and information about loads of areas, crossing all eight states and territories by the end of 2020.
They won’t be done though, it will take much longer than that overall. It kicks off in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth this month, with additional locations following soon.
If the international trend is followed, the cars will be basic white Subaru’s with a huge and highly visible dome camera sticking out of the roof a good meter or so.
The dome takes all the images, in every direction, which will be used in Apple’s new “lookaround” feature which was announced earlier this year and is available only in three locations so far (New York, LA and San Francisco).
Competing head-on with Google’s Street View, Look Around is a more fluid process which gives you the sense of almost flying through the area, unlike Google which is more a walk and refresh style update.
The cars will also collect LiDAR information – this is akin to 3D modelling an area – and will help make the maps more realistic and well as completely up to date.
Like Google, Apple will blur faces and your rego plate when published, but it could be some time before that launches and only then will we find out just what kind of antics Aussies got up to in front of the Apple cameras as they tended to do for Google:)