Apple wants to catch up to Google in the maps game. To do so, the company is taking some interesting measures.
The Silicon Valley giant plans to use an army of drones to build out mapping information, which it believes will capture data faster than Google’s fleet of vans, which are loaded with cameras and sensors, according to sources cited in Bloomberg.
Apple wants to fly drones around to do things like examine street signs, track changes to roads and monitor if areas are under construction, the person said. The data collected would be sent to Apple teams that rapidly update the Maps app to provide fresh information to users, the person added.
Apple also wants to bring indoor features to Maps, which the company considers not just an app but a platform.
“If you think about mobility in general, Maps is a core organizing structure for the physical world in which you interact,” Craig Federighi, SVP of software engineering, said earlier this year. “So many, many third-party apps incorporate mapping, as an understanding of where you are in relation to others, as a way to do all sorts of things—put photos on a map to help you relive a trip, get a heads up about when you need to leave, or see which of your friends is in a certain area. Just as our operating system is a platform or a foundation, having a map of the physical world is a foundation for building all kinds of value on the platform.”