Mysterious Apple Car Spotted Roaming Bay Area Streets

There have been multiple sightings of a mysterious van with a strange apparatus on its roof in Concord, CA and, according to CBS affiliate KPIX 5, the car is leased to Apple. Bay Area blog Claycord posted photos of the Dodge Caravan earlier today.

applevan1

Photo via Claycord

One possible use for the car could be for a mapping project, as the cameras on top of the vehicle are similar to other mapping cars. The Cupertino company has been planning on significantly improving its Maps application though, with plans for transit directions, improved points-of-interest data, indoor mapping and more. It would be likely that Apple would be prepping a feature similar to Google Street View or Bing StreetSide.

Claycord, however, noted that the Apple car looked similar to a self-driving Dodge Caravan spotted in New York in September 2014. Technology analyst Rob Enderle, who spoke to KPIX, also agreed that it's a self-driving car rather than a mapping car.

“Too many cameras,” said Enderle. “It has cameras that are angled down at all four corners of the vehicle.”

As noted by AppleInsider, Google's Street View cars do use a total of 15 5-megapixel cameras to stitch together its images. Apple's leased minivan appears to have similar technology, with 12 cameras that could potentially be used to stitch together images for a Street View-like picture.

Apple is not one of the six companies who have a permit for testing driverless cars, but Enderle says it wouldn't matter, noting that Apple could have a partnership with a manufacturer that allows them to lease and test a driverless car without a partner.

An Apple spokesperson told KPIX that the company had no comment.

Related Roundup: Apple Car

Top Rated Comments

Macboy Pro Avatar
91 months ago
Well if Apple is going to release a car, we know it will start off huge and get thinner and thinner each year as they take away its functionality.
Score: 66 Votes (Like | Disagree)
manhattanboy Avatar
91 months ago
Billions in cash and they choose a Dodge Caravan.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FrankieTDouglas Avatar
91 months ago
A driverless car? Being used by Apple? Hopefully it's not using Apple Maps.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BeyondtheTech Avatar
91 months ago
I couldn't be the only person who got a Safari push notification from MacRumors and got stoked when they read "Mysterious Apple Car Spotted..." Apple's making a car?!
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dacreativeguy Avatar
91 months ago
It's the iPhone 7. Damn, the camera protrudes even further than the 6!
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SamGabbay Avatar
91 months ago
Next thing you know, we'll find out that it was stolen from a bar... parking lot.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature ugly yellow

AirPods Pro 2 Could Beat AirPods Max Sound Quality

Monday January 24, 2022 2:15 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could deliver higher fidelity audio than the AirPods Max over-ear headphones, despite being comparatively small in-ear buds, recent reports have suggested. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the second-generation AirPods Pro will offer improved audio quality thanks to support...
iCloud Bug Feature Green

Developers Unhappy With Bug Causing iCloud Unreliability

Monday January 24, 2022 10:15 am PST by
A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly. As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message:...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...