Given the current problems with Apple Maps, most would skip for navigation
The talk about self driving cars is increasing and it seems that California wants to be the first state to fully embrace them. Governor Brown has signed legislation to regulate self driving cars and one would expect to see other US states also do the same. One of the big items associated with these self driving cars is GPS so that the on board computers know where they are and where they are going. Being a key piece of the process, you have to rely on it to be completely accurate in the underlying maps. But with Apple releasing its own version of maps, would you consider using Apple Maps?
The reports of Apple Maps problems is becoming a daily occurrence of reported problems since they were released in iOS 6. And they sure do look like they have a lot of problems with displaying those maps. You only have to go out and see the amazing Apple Map problems in iOS 6 to get an idea of just how bad it actually is right now. Some of the problems have towns in the wrong locations, showing an airport that does not exist and roadways that just plain look funny. Apple is hard at work fixing these, but it is going to take a while to correct the problems. And so much of the correcting is just plain enter related data to make things more accurate.
So, it raises the question of which would you chose to run your self driving car? Since Google is currently heavily invested in their self driving technology, the Google Maps are the ones which are being used for navigation. And Google has invested heavily in that technology with over 7,000 people working on their maps. So, for self driving cars, they are the only game in town. But given the money that Apple has socked away, they could jump into the self driving car business.
They could have done that a month ago, but as of today, it would be a major mistake for them to do that. Since they have committed to separate themselves from using Google Maps to using Apple Maps, people would not have confidence that a self driving car from Apple would get them where they want to go and not get involved in an accident. I know that I would not have confidence in Apple Maps after what I have seen for the past week. And what is being shown is continuing and increasing.
The memory of the poor quality Apple Maps is going to continue and any reputation for using Apple Maps in a self driving car is shot for the next 3 or 4 years. People are not going to easily forget what they are seeing today and have sufficient trust in navigation using Apple Maps.
Would you trust Apple Maps as you see them today for future use in a self driving car?