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(Pocket-lint) - Apple is considerably behind Google when it comes to map data and features, after all the search engine giant has been developing Google Maps for far longer. However, there is one feature that Apple would like to implement as soon as possible and it is in development right now.

The Cupertino firm is currently sending a fleet of mapping cars onto the streets of major towns and cities in England, Ireland and the US in order to collate information to make its mapping services better.

The vehicles are also taking photos as they travel, much like Google's Street View cars, hinting that Apple is also looking to implement some form of photographic element to its Maps app and service.

The company revealed that it will be "driving vehicles" around the world to collect data, but also mentioned that, in order to protect privacy, it will "blur faces and licence plates on collected images prior to publication". So while the data might be used to improve the Maps service, the photos are clearly planned for a new feature.

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So, if you see an Apple car of some description travelling around any of the locations listed on a dedicated website (here), which includes may areas of London and the West Midlands, give it a wave. You might end up in the Maps app.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 10 June 2015.