TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino dropped a surprise 🔥 scoop this morning: Apple is overhauling its Maps app. According to his report, he spoke with Eddy Cue and "over a dozen" engineers on Apple's Maps team. Apple also let him ride in one of its Maps vans.
On the vans, Panzarino writes:
In addition to a beefed up GPS rig on the roof, four LiDAR arrays mounted at the corners and 8 cameras shooting overlapping high-resolution images – there’s also the standard physical measuring tool attached to a rear wheel that allows for precise tracking of distance and image capture. In the rear there is a surprising lack of bulky equipment. Instead, it’s a straightforward Mac Pro bolted to the floor, attached to an array of solid state drives for storage. A single USB cable routes up to the dashboard where the actual mapping capture software runs on an iPad.
When the images and data are captured, they are then encrypted on the fly immediately and recorded on to the SSDs. Once full, the SSDs are pulled out, replaced and packed into a case which is delivered to Apple’s data center where a suite of software eliminates private information like faces, license plates and other info from the images. From the moment of capture to the moment they’re sanitized, they are encrypted with one key in the van and the other key in the data center. Technicians and software that are part of its mapping efforts down the pipeline from there never see unsanitized data.
The new Maps will be included in the next iOS 12 beta and will be limited at first to the San Francisco Bay Area.