Vehicles seen in and around San Francisco
If you live in San Francisco and have been seeing weird looking roof mounted cameras on vehicles there is no reason to be alarmed. Apple has confirmed that they are doing testing on vehicles with special roof mounted cameras that are aimed at eventually helping the company to come out with a product that would rival Google’s Street View technology that is currently on Google Maps. These spotted cars are equipped with a Light Detection and Ranging system which is also known by the acronym of LIDAR.
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LIDAR is the same technology that Google uses for their street view cameras that are on Google Maps. This is the same technology that is being used by automobile manufacturers that use adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance. It is not known if Apple is looking to make a rival product to the Google Maps feature but it can certainly be seen that they are testing that same technology. The cars that have been seen in San Francisco are also using the same wheel technology that the company Navteq uses in order for Bing to do the same kind of mapping that Google Maps does.
Apple had Google Maps as their default mapping system up until two years ago so it certainly makes sense that they would be looking to develop a program of their own. One could also think and believe that these new tests by Apple would be used for self driving cars. Google uses LIDAR to help guide and control their self driving vehicles that the company has been known for as of late. Apple does not have the proper permits for such a vehicle but Google has proven they have as there have been several videos on YouTube showing a Google van driving by itself on the streets of New York.
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