The sensor-laden vehicles will start collecting mapping data in Fort William, a town in the western Scottish Highlands, between October 9 and November 5, according to a recently updated list of driving locations on Apple's website.
For over two years, Apple has been driving vehicles around the world to collect data for Apple Maps—widely believed to be street-level imagery. Since 2015, the vehicles have surveyed over 35 states in the United States, in addition to parts of England, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Sweden.
Apple said it will blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication, suggesting that it could be working on adding a Street View feature to Apple Maps, similar to what Google Maps has offered for several years. But, the imagery and other mapping data could be used for a variety of purposes.
When Apple's fleet of Dodge and Mercedes-Benz vans first hit the streets, it was speculated they could be the basis of an Apple Car. But those rumors quieted down after the vans were labeled with Apple Maps decals, and because Apple has reportedly shifted towards autonomous driving software for now.
Some industry observers still believe the vans are at least partially related to Apple's autonomous driving project, but the evidence is inconclusive.
Apple so far has only confirmed that some of the data collected will be published in future Apple Maps updates.
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