California, New York, and Florida among locations to be covered by cars in coming weeks.

Apple has confirmed that a fleet of cars will be sent out across the U.S., U.K. and Ireland to capture images from roads and create a rival to Google’s Street View service.

The company said that locations including California, Florida and New York in the U.S, as well as London, Dublin and Birmingham in the U.K. will be covered. 

Apple has published a web page confirming the plans, under the heading Apple Maps vehicles, in which it said that the information being collected will be used to “improve Apple Maps”, and that updates based on the data will be published in the future.

The tech giant has also promised that no identifying information will be collected. “We are committed to protecting your privacy while collecting this data," the company noted.

"For example, we will blur faces and licence plates on collected images prior to publication. If you have comments or questions about this process, please contact us.”

The plans are not a huge surprise as Apple had long been expected to create a rival to Google Street View, which has proved highly popular with web users.

Apple will be hoping to avoid the legal problems suffered by Google when it was discovered that Street View cars had been snaffling WiFi information from homes as they passed by. Google has always denied this.

The news comes during a busy week for Apple after the unveiling of future software enhancements at its Worldwide Developer Conference, including updates to its mapping software to offer more public transport data.

Apple also provided an insight into several other changes coming to iOS 9 when it launches later this year, including improvements to (Read more...), deeper search functionality and a battery-saving mode.

This article was originally published on Search Engine Watch.

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