Apple is reportedly planning to use drones to improve its Maps app and truly compete with Google Maps, following a problematic launch four years ago. Bloomberg News reports that Apple has been building a team of experts in robots and data capture to utilize drones to quickly update maps. Google and Apple both use fleets of cars and vans equipped with cameras, but drones will allow Apple to examine and monitor roads, street signs, construction areas, and more. Apple is said to have hired at least one employee from Amazon’s Air division to help run its own drone team based in Seattle.
Alongside the drone efforts, Apple is also reportedly developing a new inside view for its Maps app and improvements for car navigation. Bloomberg News claims that the indoor mapping view will let iPhone users navigate through museums and airports. Google Maps currently offers similar indoor features, and Apple has reportedly acquired Indoor.io to help build out the feature for Maps. Apple is also adding better assistance for changing lanes while driving, and both of the new Maps features are said to be planned for a 2017 release.