What you need to know
- A new report details how Apple creates its map.
- The company uses both manned and self-driving vehicles.
- It also outfits each vehicle with LiDAR, a Mac Pro, and proprietary EyeDrive software.
According to a report by 9to5Mac, the outlet has learned exclusive details about how Apple's Maps team uses manned vehicles to create its newest map and the features that come along with it.
The company currently uses a white Subaru Impreza, codenamed "Ulysses," that is outfitted with LiDAR scanners, a Mac Pro, and the EyeDrive hardware and software that powers the entire setup.
Apple also uses a self-driving Lexus with the code name "Tyche", a car that is reportedly part of the company's autonomous driving efforts.
Ulysses vs Tyche (the two vehicle hardware configs) pic.twitter.com/afSHRtlJM7Ulysses vs Tyche (the two vehicle hardware configs) pic.twitter.com/afSHRtlJM7— andrey (@YRH04E) August 4, 2020August 4, 2020
Each Subaru is manned by two, one to drive and one to operate the EyeDrive system. The team has a specific window to capture the data needed to build the map and other features, as the LiDAR will not work correctly at night.
The EyeDrive is preloaded with a route that the team needs to drive, but those in the vehicle can report if there are issues with capturing the planned data of the day.
According to the report, the data collected by these two vehicle types is what the company uses to build out map features like FlyOver, Look Around, and 3D imagery. Apple Maps just recently rolled out 3D in Amsterdam as well as transit information in Lisbon.
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.