Here's how Apple makes its own Maps: in the past few hours, photos and videos of used cars have been leaked to make the service more complete and competitive. The vehicles are equipped with particularly advanced sensors. The cars are called "Ulysses", and in fact they are specially modified Subaru Impreza – specifically they are dedicated to the division that processes the 3D parts of the cartography, then the Flyover and Look Around modes (similar to the Street View of Google Maps). Among the main additions is a "tower" with high resolution cameras and Zeiss lenses, LiDAR sensors and a computer (a Mac Pro, to be precise) to process all the collected data in real time.
Everything is driven by an EyeDrive, which apparently is a special iPad with an app of the same name. This assigns the tasks to the employee / driver of the car (the roads on which you have to drive are highlighted in green), and allows him to process and manage the collected data, which ends up on a series of 4 SSDs of 4 TB each. The SSD capacity is sufficient to collect a week of information; the logistic of the disc exchange is managed by UPS with overnight deliveries. Then there is "Tyche", which is a self-driving Lexus, also equipped with the EyeDrive unit and used in autonomous driving projects.
Apple keeps its cars in top secret locations – the company even rents garages with a third-party company to remain anonymous. Typically "Ulysses" cars are operated by two people – one who drives and one who manages the data collection. The instructions are very precise: data collection must take place between morning and evening when the angle of the sun is greater than 30 degrees, otherwise the LiDAR sensor cannot work properly. You also need to pay attention to the weather: conditions must be "perfect" in order to guarantee consistent and precise image quality. At the beginning and end of the round the equipment is thoroughly inspected to make sure that everything is working as it should.
"Apple Cars" are particularly popular in the United States, especially in large cities where three-dimensional cartography is concentrated. Apple is working to expand it to the rest of North America and, over time, around the world (including Italy, there are already reports). The video is surprisingly still online; we do not know how much Apple, which is generally very active in protecting its secrets, will take it to request their deletion. In other words: watch it as soon as possible because it probably won't stay online long.
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Huawei's top at the best price? Huawei P30 Pro, on offer today by Mobzilla for 472 euros or from Amazon for 570 euros.