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Apple’s Street View rivalling camera cars are hitting UK roads

Apple has a fleet of vehicles set to roam around the UK and Ireland to photograph our nation’s roads.

With the Cupertino-based tech giant having long been rumoured to be working on a rival to Google’s Street View, it would appear the service is set to cover more than its native US.

Earlier this year, a car leased to Apple that was covered in cameras and scanners was spotted in San Francisco.

It seems that this theory has now been confirmed, as a new page has appeared on Apple’s website detailing its upcoming plans for Maps cars.

“Apple is driving vehicles around the world to collect data which will be used to improve Apple Maps. Some of this data will be published in future Apple Maps updates,” reads the page introduction.

It continues: “We are committed to protecting your privacy while collecting this data. For example, we will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication.”

That last statement it is particularly interesting, as it is a clear admission that Apple is taking photographs of streets, rather than just collecting road data.

The schedule reveals that Apple cars will be driving around Greater London, the West Midlands, the South East, and the East, as well as Leinster in Ireland, all between June 15 and June 30.

Related: 5 ways Apple attacked Google at WWDC 2015

Of course, we can’t say for sure that Apple is trying to take on Google’s Street View, but the evidence is hard to dispute.

Apple first released Maps back in 2012, although it launched to widespread criticism due to incorrect map data, warped worlds and dodgy directions.

The software has since improved, and a Street View offering could be the next step in Apple’s efforts to battle Google’s mapping ecosystem.

Apple recently announced upgrades to Maps at its World Wide Developer Conference on June 8, revealing the software would offer public-transport directions for London in the upcoming iOS 9 update.

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