When Apple released Apple Maps, the world laughed. It wasn’t so much that Maps looked pretty and had beautiful 3D effects (if the customer had bought the most expensive device, of course), but more that it didn’t know where it was or how to get you where you were supposed to be going. Less useful than many a significant other (as mine is great at telling me where to go!). There were rumors that Google were to release an Apple Maps application in the Google Play Store complete with a “call Thunderbirds” icon for the inevitable “I’m lost” moment.
We’ve seen a story via a CBS affiliate KPIX 5 of an Apple-leased car in Concord, California, which has some kind of device fitted to the roof of the vehicle. Apple have, naturally enough, declined to comment (not even to claim that it isn’t bent) so let’s speculate as to what this might be. It could be an orientation sensor suite designed to help improve Apple Maps accuracy, or it might be something similar to iDrive, a way to convert Siri into your chauffeur. That would be fun. “Siri, drive me home,” would be met with, “now calling your dentist,” although you won’t get me to claim that Apple’s voice recognition isn’t accurate (it simply cannot cope with my accent).
I am confident that I can debunk the Apple self-driving car for a couple of reasons. One is that Apple will wait until the technology has been out in the wild for a number of years, then rehash it, slap the letter “i” in front of it and their fans will claim that Apple invented it all along. But the bigger reason is that Apple don’t have a permit for self-driving vehicles as far as we can tell. It’s true that Apple are notoriously secretive but no permits have been found lying around a bar anywhere.
Instead, it might be a StreetView-like project, taking pictures of the environment around us similar to the Google street cars and vans. But the smart money is that this is part of a localized booster system for the Apple Distortion Field; the roof mounted units are amplifiers designed to project the field as far as possible. Seems legitimate, right? But if our readers have a better idea, let us know in the comments below…