Apple dispatched a fleet of vehicles to Canada to collect detailed information about the country’s roadways, as it works to revamp its Maps app.
In a statement, the company said sensor-equipped cars will traverse all 10 Canadian provinces between May and November 2019, “capturing road details, signage and landmarks” to help it build “the most accurate and useful Maps experience possible”.
Similar ground surveys are already well underway across the US, with data collection in Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada expected to continue until the end of the year. Apple also recently sent vehicles to gather information from the UK, Ireland and Italy to the end of July, and Japan to the end of October.
Apple said the data and images collected will be incorporated into future releases of the Maps app, but added it will blur faces and license plates visible in its images to protect the public’s privacy.
The moves come as Apple works to strengthen Maps and repair its reputation, after initial iterations were plagued by inaccuracies.
Apple began its turnaround effort in June 2018, with executives detailing plans in an interview with TechCrunch to rebuild the app using fresh first-party data from both iPhone users and its fleet of vehicles.
It is unclear how Apple is planning to use the data beyond adding more detail to its maps; however it is possible the company could pursue new features, for instance adding augmented reality navigation aids to the app as rival Google recently did at its annual I/O conference.