“Apple is suddenly looking to hire a bunch of map tech experts,” Lora Kolodny reports for CNBC. “More than 70 job listings went live in the past month on the company’s site relating to its maps team, or requiring skills around things like: ‘geospatial information services,’ ‘navigational aids’ and ‘fleet management.’ That’s a lot of hiring around one discipline even for a juggernaut like Apple.”

“Adding more map-tech talent to its ranks won’t just help the company make Apple Maps more competitive with Google Maps. The new hires could also help Apple deliver on two big promises: to become an important player in augmented reality and ‘autonomous systems,'” Kolodny reports. “Improving and developing new map capabilities could also, obviously, help Apple finally come out with ‘core technology’ for the self-driving car market.”

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MacDailyNews Note: During Apple’s conference call with analysts on Tuesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the following:

In terms of autonomous systems, what we’ve said is that we are very focused on autonomous systems from a core technology point of view. We do have a large project going and are making a big investment in this. From our point of view, autonomy is the mother of all AI projects. And the autonomous systems can be used in a variety of ways and a vehicle is only one. But there are many different areas of it and I don’t want to go any further with that…

I could not be more excited about AR and what we’re seeing with ARKit in the early going… just take a look at what’s already on the web in terms of what people are doing and it is all over the place. From entertainment to gaming, I’ve seen what I would call more small business solutions. I’ve seen consumer solutions. I’ve seen enterprise solutions. I think AR is big and profound and this is one of those huge things that we’ll look back at and marvel on the start of it.

So I think that customers are going to see it in a variety of ways. Enterprise takes a little longer sometimes to get going. But I can already tell you there’s lots of excitement in there. And I think we’ll start to see some applications there as well. And it feels great to get this thing going at a level that can get all of the developers behind it, so I couldn’t be more excited about it.