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
82 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
82 months ago
Billions in cash and they choose a Dodge Caravan.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FrankieTDouglas Avatar
82 months ago
A driverless car? Being used by Apple? Hopefully it's not using Apple Maps.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BeyondtheTech Avatar
82 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
82 months ago
It's the iPhone 7. Damn, the camera protrudes even further than the 6!
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SamGabbay Avatar
82 months ago
Next thing you know, we'll find out that it was stolen from a bar... parking lot.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

General Music and AirPod 3 Feature

Rumor: Apple to Announce Third-Generation AirPods and HiFi Apple Music Tier on May 18

Thursday May 13, 2021 10:32 pm PDT by
A new rumor suggests that Apple will announce the third-generation AirPods and the recently rumored HiFi, or high-fidelity Apple Music tier, on Tuesday, May 18, via a press release on its website. The new rumor comes from Apple YouTuber Luke Miani who shared the alleged exclusive news with the AppleTrack website. According to the YouTuber, Apple plans to release the next-generation AirPods...
apple park drone june 2018 2

Apple Fires Newly Hired Ex-Facebook Product Manager Following Revelations of Past Misogynistic Comments

Thursday May 13, 2021 12:10 am PDT by
Apple has fired Antonio García Martínez, an ex-Facebook product manager and author of the controversial book "Chaos Monkeys," following public and internal calls for removal and investigation due to past misogynistic statements, The Verge reports. Apple hired Martínez earlier this week to join its ads team, however, comments that Martínez made in the past sparked condemnation from users...
imac m1 blue isolated 16x9 500k

M1 iMac is Up to 56% Faster Than Prior-Generation High-End 21.5-Inch iMac

Wednesday May 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Apple's M1 iMacs are set to start delivering to customers next week, and ahead of the official launch day, benchmarks for the machines have been showing up on Geekbench, likely from reviewers who are testing them. It will come as no surprise that M1 iMac benchmarks are right on par with benchmarks for the M1 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini, coming in with an average single-core score...
2021 mbp hdmi slot 3d

2021 MacBook Pro Leaks Confirm Returning MagSafe and Ports

Friday May 14, 2021 3:06 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming MacBook Pro models are expected to feature a number of major changes such as larger display options and powerful new Apple silicon chips. Among the more surprising updates to this year's MacBook Pro models is the return of three ports that have been missing from the machines for over five years. Expected to come in 14- and 16-inch sizes, the 2021 MacBook Pro models are...
fortnite apple logo 2

Judge in Epic vs. Apple Case Floats Potential Compromise

Wednesday May 12, 2021 3:54 pm PDT by
In the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, the two companies are this week calling up their expert witnesses to argue their points before Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who will make a decision in the case after a three week trial. Expert testimony is not as exciting as some of the leaked App Store documents that were highlighted last week, especially as much of what's being...
google photos

PSA: Google Photos Unlimited Storage Ends Next Month, Here's How to Export Your Pictures to iCloud

Thursday May 13, 2021 5:26 am PDT by
For as long as it's existed, Google Photos has offered free unlimited storage for uploading images at a reduced yet good enough quality for most users. From June 1, 2021, however, all photos and videos uploaded to Google accounts will count against users' cloud storage. If you've been relying on Google to back up your media library, it may be time to move that content elsewhere. This article...
AirTag in Envelope Feature 2

AirTag Used to Successfully Track a Mailed Package Across the UK

Wednesday May 12, 2021 8:44 am PDT by
An Apple customer in the United Kingdom has successfully used Apple's Find My network to track an AirTag as it was being sent by mail to a friend in a completely different city. Outlined in a blog post at Intego, Kirk McElhearn said he taped an AirTag to a piece of card, wrapped it inside a small bubble envelope, and then sent it on its way. Kirk lives in the small town of...
m1 ipad pro chip

M1 iPad Pro Over 50% Faster Than Previous Generation in Early Benchmarks

Tuesday May 11, 2021 11:56 am PDT by
Last month, Apple introduced a new iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, and early benchmark results indicate that the M1 iPad Pro is over 50% faster than the previous-generation iPad Pro. Based on five legitimate Geekbench 5 results (here's the fifth) for the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the M1 chip, the device has average single-core and multi-core scores of...
prosser macbook air colors stacked

Images Reveal Colorful New MacBook Air Design

Tuesday May 11, 2021 5:06 am PDT by
Apple's next MacBook Air will feature a completely new design and come in a range of colors like the 24-inch iMac, according to leaker Jon Prosser, who has now released supposedly accurate renders of the new machines based on leaked images. In a new video uploaded to YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser elaborated on his previous prediction that Apple's next-generation MacBook Air models ...
iPhone 13 Camera Backs

iPhone 13 Models Will Be Slightly Thicker and Will Have Larger Camera Bumps

Monday May 10, 2021 10:41 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 models will be slightly thicker than the iPhone 12 models and will also feature larger, thicker camera bumps with lenses that protrude less, according to iPhone 13 schematics seen by MacRumors. The new iPhone 13 and 13 Pro models are expected to feature a thickness of 7.57mm, up from 7.4mm in the iPhone 12 models. That's an increase of 0.17mm, which won't be hugely ...