Apple appears to be testing a pool of cars near San Francisco that are equipped with powerful camera rigs. A Claycord blog has published photos of a car that CBS affiliate KPIX 5 has confirmed is leased to Apple. The mysterious cars have been spotted a number of times over the past several months in and around San Francisco. A video, published on YouTube in September, also shows a complex camera rig mounted on the roof of a similar Dodge minivan in New York. Both of the cars near San Francisco and New York appear to be equipped with the same LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) camera system.
This is interesting but not hugely surprising. Apple is continuing to make its Map.app and technology behind it better all the time.