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Google Uses Toyota iQ For Street View On Narrow Belgian Roads

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On: Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 1:20PM | By: Chris Weiss

Google Uses Toyota iQ For Street View On Narrow Belgian Roads

It's been a good couple of days for mini cars. Around the same time the Mini was setting world records, the Toyota iQ was doing work for one of the pillars of the tech industry. Google turned to the iQ in taking footage for its StreetView service, when its usual fleet cars couldn't quite get into the small nooks and crannies of Belgian roadways.

For about five years, Google has been using a fleet of all types of vehicles - cars, bikes, boats, snowmobiles, etc. - to bring us on-demand panoramic photo access to streets around the world, mountains, rivers, ski resorts, and other attractions and destinations. According to the company, it started rolling its street footage in an SUV, later moved to a van and then refined its operation to a fleet of specially equipped cars.

Over the years, we've seen a number of cars with the big Google camera system strapped to their roofs, including the Subaru Impreza and the Chevy Cobalt. Google added the tiny iQs to its fleet to let it go where its existing cars couldn't. While reports cite Belgian streets, we're sure the iQ Street View will come in handy on tight streets in other locations around Europe and the world.

This isn't the first time we've seen a Google-outfitted Toyota. Google has used a fleet of Prii in testing out its autonomous driving technology.

Toyota set up a mini-site on its Belgium website for the iQ Street View. Users can tag streets that were too small for traditional Street View operations so that the iQ can resweep the areas. The site includes a video that shows exactly what the iQ brings to the Street View operation, set to some strange, shrill music.


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