Here’s a nice catch by the blog AppleCarFans – an unmarked Ford Transit van has been photographed driving around near the rumored Sunnyvale, California home of Apple’s car development workshop. On top was a bundle of strange equipment.
Apparently this hardware is quite unlike that of Google’s mapping cars, which have become an almost common sight on the world’s roads nowadays, or Apple’s own mapping cars, which have markings to indicate their purpose.
The photo’s as scratchy as a mid-1970s photo of a UFO, if we’re being honest, but says AppleCarFans:
The author noted [the] equipment includes four lidars, one for each corner and two cameras in the back. The rear lidars were seen to be spinning furiously. Lidars are tools which can detect objects around vehicles and measure their distance. They are known to be used in autonomous vehicle testing both by Ford and Google.
A driver was also observed by the author. The driver was seen at least once to have his hands on the wheel and controlling it as the van was pulling out of a lot, but at one point, while the car was moving on the road, the driver could not be seen possibly suggesting the vehicle was driving itself.
Make your own mind up. We want to believe!