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What is this mysterious Apple car?

Updated Feb 19th, 2015 7:51PM EST
Apple Car San Francisco

Since Apple is by its nature a mysterious company, every hint that it’s trying something new drives lots of speculation. So it was this week when San Francisco radio station KPIX reported that a mysterious minivan that was leased to Apple and was equipped with multiple cameras had been spotted driving around the Bay Area.

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There are two possibilities that come to mind. First, Apple could be using the car to create Street View-style imagery for Apple Maps, which currently lacks that particular feature. The other one, as proposed to KPIX by tech analyst Rob Enderle, is that Apple is working on its own self-driving car technology.

9to5Mac, however, is skeptical of this second theory because Enderle’s evidence for it was that the car supposedly had too many cameras equipped to be a mere Street View image collector. In reality, notes 9to5Mac, Google has actually equipped more cameras than this on its Street View cars to collect images in the past.

Either way, it looks like Apple is trying to catch up to Google in one way or another, though we’re not likely to find out which way from the company itself.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.