KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — Last month, we reported that Apple was planning to deploy imaging vehicles in Malaysia as part of its rebuild of Apple Maps, which includes the introduction of the Street View-style Look Around feature. The company added a listing on its Apple Maps Image Collection website showing the schedule of the deployment but inexplicably removed it soon after.
In an email sent to SoyaCincau.com, however, Cupertino has now confirmed it will be rolling out those vehicles after all, starting this month. It added that the rebuild, which uses Apple’s own photography and lidar data instead of relying on outside sources, will not only add Look Around but also provide broader road coverage, better pedestrian data, more precise addresses and more detailed landcover.
Apple has also added an updated schedule for the vehicle rollout back onto its Image Collection website, now kicking off on November 10 instead of October 30. The full (and still tentative) schedule is as follows:
- Selangor – 10 November 2023 – 29 February 2024
- Kuala Lumpur – 10 November 2023 – 29 February 2024
- Putrajaya – 1 December 2023 – 9 December 2023
- Negeri Sembilan – 1 March 2024 – 19 March 2024
- Perak – 1 March 2024 – 4 April 2024
- Melaka – 21 March 2024 – 4 April 2024
- Penang – 8 April 2024 – 27 April 2024
- Johor – 10 April 2024 – 6 June 2024
- Kedah – 30 April 2024 – 30 May 2024
- Perlis – 1 June 2024 – 5 June 2024
- Pahang – 11 June 2024 – 24 June 2024
- Terengganu – 27 June 2024 – 8 July 2024
- Kelantan – 16 July 2024 – 22 July 2024
- Sabah – 2 January 2024 – 22 March 2024
- Labuan – 27 March 2024 – 5 April 2024
- Sarawak – 6 April 2024 – 25 July 2024
The company promises to protect people’s privacy when conducting its ground surveys with measures such as censoring faces and number plates in Look Around images. Aside from vehicles, Apple also employs people carrying backpacks equipped with cameras and lidar sensors to provide pedestrian data on streets without vehicle access, but this was not mentioned in the email.
Apple announced a rebuild of Apple Maps back in 2018 in an attempt to better compete with Google Maps, having been stung by the service’s disastrous launch in 2012. So far, the company has updated its maps in cities across Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Singapore, New Zealand and more, with new countries being added every year. Given the sheer scale of the rebuild, however, don’t expect the Malaysian maps to be updated that soon.
Here’s Apple’s full quote from the email:
Apple is conducting ground surveys with vehicles around the world to collect data to improve Apple Maps and to support the Look Around feature. Vehicle surveys may use equipment mounted on the outside of vehicles as well as iPhones, iPads, or other devices inside of vehicles. We may periodically revisit and re-collect data in some of those locations in an effort to maintain a high-quality, up-to-date map.Advertisement
We are committed to protecting your privacy while conducting these surveys. For example, we will censor faces and license plates on images that are published in Look Around.