Apple has overhauled Apple Maps earlier this year with refreshed data and new features, but the Cupertino-based tech giant just doesn’t want to stop here.
At the core of Apple’s map arsenal seems to be a fleet of Subaru Impreza cars that are internally referred to as Ulysses. According to Apple documents obtained by 9to5mac, each Impreza is equipped with the latest-generation high-resolution cameras that feature Zeiss lenses, LiDAR scanners, as well as a seven-year-old Mac Pro computer that’s responsible for processing all the data that is captured.
The Mac systems store the processed data on four SSDs, each with 4GB of storage, which according to the internal documents, is just enough for one week of imagery. Once the drives get full, they are shipped to Apple’s offices using UPS.
The entire configuration is powered by EyeDrive, a system that is controlled with an app installed on an iPad. The tablet is typically operated by the passenger, while the driver just goes on a route that hasn’t been scanned before.
As it turns out, Apple’s Subaru Impreza only goes out for capturing Apple Maps data during perfect weather conditions for obvious reasons. Apple has made the quality of its maps content a priority, so the cars can only be driven when clear photos are possible.
The iPad also tells the driver where to go, and the daily operations start in the morning when the sun is at 30 degrees and stop in the evening when the sun returns to the same 30 degrees angle.