Apple is deploying new, smaller Apple Maps vehicles on the streets of Los Angeles to collect street level mapping data. The new Subaru Impreza wagon replaces the minivans previously deployed for the project.
Two different people in the Los Angeles area in recent weeks have sent Business Insider pictures of a new model of Apple Maps car.
The white Subaru Impreza wagons can be identified by two main characteristics: The ones spotted in the LA area are clearly marked as Apple vehicles. And they’ve got a tall beehive-like protrusion extending from the roof covered in Apple’s iconic white plastic.
The cars appear to be equipped with laser-based LIDAR sensors as well, which collect depth data that’s useful for autonomous vehicles and augmented reality applications.
Apple has been collecting street level dat via vehicles equipped with LIDAR systems since 2015. Apple uses the data to improve their Apple Maps app, providing better accuracy and improved details.
The new “Apple Maps” branded vehicles have only been sighted in Los Angeles so far, although an unmarked Subaru Impreza with similar rigging was spotted by Business Insider in San Francisco a few months ago.
If you’d like to possibly get a chance to see the new Apple Maps Subarus, you can check out a full list of the locations where Apple is currently mapping data for inclusion in future Apple Maps updates.