Could Apple be working on its own self-driving technology?
A mysterious prototype roaming the streets of San Francisco, California, with a roof full of cameras could be the first indication that Apple to planning to jump on the autonomous vehicle bandwagon.
The Dodge Grand Caravan in question has been spotted several times in the Bay Area over the last few weeks. The Department of Motor Vehicles database confirmed that the minivan is being leased by Apple, leading to speculation that the tech giant is working on its own self-driving technology to take on rival Google.
One hangup for that theory is that Apple doesn't possess a self-driving license, but technology analysts Rob Enderle believes the Cupertino, California-based could be partnering with another company for its testing.
"It can be a partnership. You know, they have partnerships with a variety of the carmakers," Enderle told CBS' San Francisco affiliate, KPIX. "Just because they're leasing the car doesn't necessarily mean it's their project."
AppleInsider, however, offers a different explanation. The Apple news site believes the rig is being used to develop a new mapping function similar to Google's Street View. Apple ditched Google Maps in 2012 for its own GPS technology, but Apple Maps lacks Google's Street View capabilities.
Last year a similar vehicle was seen driving in Brooklyn, New York.
Photo courtesy of Claycord.