The iQ will map small alleys that Google's standard Street View car can't fit into.
Over the last several years, Google has managed to map almost every single square inch of the United States as part of its well-known Street View project.
The company is having a much harder time accomplishing that feat in Europe. Part of the problem is that Google's Street View car, typically an Opel Astra, can't fit in narrow alleys that probably haven't seen a car since rear-mounted engines were considered state-of-the-art.
To remedy this problem, Google has joined forces with Toyota to add several tiny iQs to its European Street View fleet. The cars' mission is to navigate through back alleys and narrow roads in order to map them and create a more complete Street View map. The project is expected to last over six months.
Instead of meandering through cities looking for streets to map, Google is asking folks who live in narrow streets and alleys to tag their location online.
The project is being launched in Belgium but it will likely extend to other countries in the European Union in the not-too-distant future.
The partnership is a win-win situation for the two companies. On one hand it helps Google create a complete map of Europe and on the other it generates publicity for the slow-selling Toyota iQ.