- Apple cars on roads in UK and Ireland from 15 June until 30 June
- Dublin, London and Birmingham to be covered
- Firm creating Google Street View rival
- Promises privacy controls: blurred faces and licence plates
Apple has confirmed that a fleet of cars will be sent out across the UK and Ireland to capture images from roads and create a rival to Google’s Street View service.
The company said that locations including London, Dublin and Birmingham will be covered, as well as areas in Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey.
Apple has published a web page confirming the plans, under the heading Apple Maps vehicles, in which it said that the information being collected will be used to “improve Apple Maps”, and that updates based on the data will be published in the future.
Apple has also promised that no identifying information will be collected. “We are committed to protecting your privacy while collecting this data," the firm said.
"For example, we will blur faces and licence plates on collected images prior to publication. If you have comments or questions about this process, please contact us.”
The plans are not a huge surprise as Apple had long been expected to create a rival to Google Street View, which has proved highly popular with web users.
Apple will be hoping to avoid the legal problems suffered by Google when it was discovered that Street View cars had been snaffling WiFi information from homes as they passed by. Google has always denied this.
The news comes during a busy week for Apple after the unveiling of future software enhancements at its Worldwide Developer Conference, including updates to its mapping software to offer more public transport data.
Apple also provided an insight into several other changes coming to iOS 9 when it launches later this year, including improvements to Siri, deeper search functionality and a battery-saving mode.
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