Apple is sending its camera cars through Germany again: From June to September 2020, the vehicles will be "Vermengsfahrten" and "image capture" as explained by the iPhone company. The cars are to be on the road in the thirteen federal states as well as Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg, it is further said. According to the information, only shots from vehicles are planned, capturing images with "portable systems", for example in traffic zones, do not seem to be planned for Germany at present.
Apple camera cars in all states
A camera car from Apple takes pictures for the map service Look Around ("Look Around").
Apple seems to be planning to cover all major cities and all districts of the individual German states with its fleet of vehicles, as can be seen from a detailed overview. For the time being, it remains unclear how many camera vehicles will be used and how comprehensively the German road network will be mapped.
Last year, Apple was already on the road in Germany with a good 80 cars, as well as in other European countries. In addition to cameras, the vehicles were again equipped with various sensors, including light detection and ranging sensors (lidar), which can record the environment in three dimensions.
The test drives form the basis for Apple’s rough renovation of its own map service. Since the beginning of 2020, Apple has been showing a new map version in the U.S., which should also come to Europe in the course of the year. Whether the covered countries then also include Germany, remains open for the time being.
Apple’s Streetview counterpart: Launch in Germany unclear
Part of the new version of Apple Maps, respectively Apple’s Maps app in iOS 13, is also the function "Look Around" (Look Around) – a counterpart to Google’s Streetview, with which you can drive through cities at eye level "drive through" . Currently, only a few US cities are covered.
Last year, privacy advocates said Apple had no plans to introduce the feature in Germany. If it does, the company will have to provide an "easily accessible way to object" . Apple promises that faces and license plates will be automatically obscured in the footage. Anyone who wants to apply for their house to be pixelated can also contact the company via e-mail.