Last week, it emerged that Apple may be working towards building its own iCar, although initially, it didn’t seem as though self-driving capabilities would be part of this initiative. It was subsequently reported, however, that Apple could be set to rival Google in this capacity, and despite the small matter of the impending Apple Watch – touted as a game-changer in its own right – the tech world has certainly been taken aback by these revelations. Swiftly following on from last week’s reports, a new video captures a notably strange-looking vehicle stalking residential areas of Palo Alto – strikingly similar to the one spotted in San Francisco – and while there’s no way of confirming either way, it’s being suggested that the minivan in question could have something to do with Apple’s secretive venture.
It seems there’s much more to this unfolding story than a few loose rumors, with many publications having already chimed in with information gathered from independent sources. MacRumors shares a video captured by one of its readers and posted to YouTube, which shows a minivan complete with rooftop cameras driving rather conspicuously down a residential street just 10 miles from Apple’s Cupertino HQ.
The vehicle enters the shot, three-point turns, and swiftly takes off, although with its exit, leaves a wave of ambiguity. For example, supposing this fifth-gen Dodge Caravan is associated with Apple – the Mac maker is reported to be leasing these vehicles at the moment – then those rooftop cameras could be collecting data for a Google Street View-like implementation for Apple Maps. Given what we’ve been hearing over the past week, though, it should not be ruled out that this strange-looking van may instead be part of a self-driving project, and with the likes of the WSJ and later Reuters, among others, having corroborated the notion of an electric car, we could be on the cusp of yet another showdown between Apple and Google.
Before we get too carried away, it’s almost certain that Apple is at the very early concept / development stage, and so if there is some truth in what’s being uttered, we’re unlikely to see the fruits of this research for a while yet.
Anyway, you can check out the video of the Mystery Machine below, and as ever, do leave your thoughts in the comments.