Dubai: You will spot Apple vehicles on roads from Monday; here's why

In a statement to Khaleej Times they say that they are committed to protecting user privacy while collecting this data


Nandini Sircar

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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Published: Sat 22 Apr 2023, 2:37 PM

Last updated: Sat 22 Apr 2023, 11:10 PM

People across Dubai will see Apple vehicles driving around the city from April 24 as part of their Maps rebuild.

Over the past several years, Apple has driven millions of miles with vehicles packed with sophisticated image and LIDAR (remote sensing method- Light Detection and Ranging) capture equipment to rebuild its map from the ground up around the world.

In the upcoming days, Apple Maps is focusing on surveying the emirate. Equipment-filled vehicles will explore Dubai’s streets while specially-equipped backpacks will be used to gather info about pedestrian-only areas in Dubai.

The new map has already rolled out across the US, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and more, and the company is updating more countries each year.

Apple is conducting drive data collection in Dubai so that they can bring users the new Maps experience with better navigation, richer detail, and more accurate information for places.

In a statement to Khaleej Times they say that they are committed to protecting user privacy while collecting this data.

Faces and license plates will be censored on collected images prior to publication.

Apple in an exclusive statement to KT says, “Apple is conducting ground surveys with vehicles around the world to collect data to improve Apple Maps and to support the Look Around feature. Vehicle surveys may use equipment mounted on the outside of vehicles as well as iPhones, iPads, or other devices inside of vehicles. We may periodically revisit and re-collect data in some of those locations in an effort to maintain a high-quality, up-to-date map. We are committed to protecting your privacy while conducting these surveys. For example, we will censor faces and license plates on images that are published in Look Around."

Some pedestrian surveys use a backpack system to collect data that may be used directly in Apple Maps, such as in the Look Around feature while other pedestrian surveys use devices to collect data for map improvement purposes.

These pedestrian surveys apparently allow improvement and upgradation of Apple Maps in areas where vehicles simply can’t go while using the same privacy protections as the Apple Maps vehicles.


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