The company is assembling a team of experts in robotics and data collection that will use drones to capture data and update map info faster than its fleet of minivans.
Apple wants to fly drones around to do things like examine street signs, track changes to roads and monitor if areas are under construction, the person said. The data collected would be sent to Apple teams that rapidly update the Maps app to provide fresh information to users, the person added.
Additionally, Apple is working on new features for Maps that would let users view inside buildings and improve car navigation.
Back in March, when exemptions were required to commercially operate drones, Apple was granted approval from the FAA to "operate an unmanned aircraft system to conduct data collection, photography, and videography." Now that new guidelines are in place, the company must have licensed pilots to operate the drones and keep them in their line of site. Also, commercial drones are restricted from flying over people and buildings which could limit their use in the United States for the time being.
More details in the full report linked below...