Apple is building its own version of Google Street View for Apple Maps

At its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, Apple announced plans to update its Maps app with transit directions, and now, the company revealed it’s working on its own version of Google Maps’ Street View.

The company launched a new website to let people know it will be “driving vehicles around the world to collect data” to improve Apple Maps.

The official announcement confirms the mysterious black vans with camera sensors mounted on their roofs, which were spotted in U.S. cities like New York and San Francisco earlier this year.

Apple said its Maps cars will be driving through cities in Ireland, England and the U.S. this month. You can find the cars’ routes between June 15 and June 30 here; the site will be updated with new locations every month.

Like Google Maps’s Street View, pedestrian faces and car license plates captured by the 3D-mapping cars will be blurred in order to protect their privacy.

Beefing up Apple Maps with transit directions and its own Street View-style 3D imagery is a step in the right direction, but Apple still has quite a bit of work to do before it can stack up against Google Maps’ functionality. The latter offers indoor views for many restaurants and shops, and is viewable in virtual reality with VR headsets like Google Cardboard.

At the very least, it’s nice to see that Apple is making good on CEO Tim Cook’s promise to “keep working non-stop until Maps lives up to the same incredibly high standard.”

Source: Mashable