Yandex self-driving car

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Yandex self-driving car is a robotaxi project of the Russian-based internet corporation Yandex. The first driverless prototype launched in May 2017. As of 2018, functional service was launched in Russia with prototypes also being tested in Israel and the US.[1]

CES 2019


In June 2017, Yandex.Taxi released a video demonstrating its driverless car technology.[2] The prototype vehicle was a heavily modified Toyota Prius+ hybrid wagon/compact MPV equipped with three LiDAR optical distance sensors by Velodyne, six radar units, and six cameras and a GNSS sensor for navigation, with Intel CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs[3] using the GNU operating system with the Linux kernel.[4][5]

In November 2017, the results of a winter test were presented. The car drove successfully along snowy roads, despite the increased difficulties presented by the snow. The vehicle covered 300 km on a closed track.[6]

In February 2018, Yandex took a driverless car on a first real test drive after heavy snowfall on the narrow streets of Moscow.[7]

On May 29, 2018, free demo rides were offered to the public. Yandex reported that 700 passengers were given rides during the 10 hours of the demo.[8] In June 2018, a long-distance autonomous test ride was accomplished for a distance of 780 km over about 11 hours.[9]

Robo-taxi service was launched on a trial status in August 2018 in the university town of Innopolis in western Russia's Republic of Tatarstan.[10] Service is free during this trial. There is no one behind the wheel during the rides, and Yandex engineers occupy passenger seats and act as safety observers.[citation needed] In February 2020, it was reported that over 5,000 autonomous passenger rides were made in Innopolis.[11]

At the end of 2018, Yandex obtained a license to use its self-driving cars on public roads in Nevada. In early 2019, the driverless cars carried out demo rides for the guests of the CES 2019 in Las Vegas.[12] Unlike other prototypes demonstrated at the exhibition, the cars were circulating the streets of the city without any human control. There was no engineer at the wheel, only one in the passenger seat to take control of the car in case of emergency. In January 2020 Yandex provided autonomous rides for CES guests for the second time.[13]

In December 2018, the company received permission from the Israeli Transport Ministry to test its driverless cars on public roads. This makes Israel the third country where the company is testing its self-driving vehicles.[14][15] In September, 2019 the testing territory was expanded to include the city center.[16]

In October 2019 Yandex made an announcement its self-driving cars passed 1 million miles in fully autonomous driving since it started testing the technology.[17] Four other companies which previously announced similar or bigger distances are Waymo,[18] GM Cruise,[19] Baidu[20] and Uber.[21]

On October 22, 2019 the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) selected Yandex and four other highly automated vehicle providers for the 2020 NAIAS Michigan Mobility Challenge.[22] Ten Yandex self-driving sedans were to provide public rides in downtown Detroit during the autoshow in June 2020.[23]

In November 2019, the company presented its autonomous delivery robot Yandex.Rover, based on the same self-driving technology the company is using for its autonomous cars. The robot is the size of a suitcase and navigates sidewalks at the speed of a pedestrian. As part of the initial testing phase, Yandex.Rover is operating on the Yandex 7,000 employees campus in Moscow, transporting small packages from one building to another.[24]

In December 2019 Yandex introduced in-house lidars. One is a solid state lidar with 120 degree field of view and the second rotating one provides a 360-degree view of its surroundings. The company claims that using its own lidars will help Yandex save up to 75% on the bill of sensors, which are currently one of the most expensive parts of an autonomous vehicle. Yandex's self-made lidars are deployed in its test fleet in and around Moscow.[25][26]

In February 2020, Yandex announced its self-driving cars doubled the October mileage and have passed 2 million miles to date.[27]


Hyundai Mobis[edit]

In March 2019, an agreement was signed between Yandex and Hyundai to work on autonomous car systems.[28] They will develop control systems for autonomous vehicles for level 4 and level 5, the categories of automation defined as requiring limited to no human intervention.[29]

The objective of the partnership is to provide a turnkey solution, which can be used by other manufacturers.[30] The companies plan to show the first prototype of the joint project by the end of 2019.[29]

The companies noted that it is also possible to expand cooperation in the areas such as speech, navigation, and mapping technologies.[31]

In July 2019 Hyundai Mobis and Yandex presented self-driving Hyundai Sonata 2020 as the first result of the collaboration.[32]


Yandex discloses only the number of autonomous kilometers driven by cars in autonomous mode, but does not disclose the disengagement rate.

As for all autonomous machines, disengagement rate (the frequency in which human drivers were forced to take control) is crucial. Due to the lack of standards for the data which is indicated in the reports, companies are allowed to exclude certain incidents in a manner which is not standardised, making direct comparison impossible.[33]

See also[edit]



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  2. ^ Edelstein, Stephen. "Russian Tech Giant Yandex Jumping Into the Self-Driving Taxi Fray". The Drive. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  3. ^ "Nvidia reveals new computing platform for 'fully autonomous robotaxis'". Robotics & Automation News. 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  4. ^ "Yandex's on-demand taxi service debuts its self-driving car project". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  5. ^ Silver, David. "Russia's Yandex Offers Driverless Rides And Passengers Say 'Da!'". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  6. ^ "Yandex takes its self-driving test cars out for a spin in the snow". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  7. ^ Love, Dylan (2018-03-24). "Yandex is already testing its self-driving cars on snowy roads". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  8. ^ Яндекс.Такси (2018-06-05), Yandex Self-Driving Car. First demo rides for passengers at Yet Another Conference 2018, retrieved 2019-05-23
  9. ^ Яндекс.Такси (2018-06-22), Yandex Self-Driving Car. First Long-Distance Ride, retrieved 2019-05-23
  10. ^ "Europe's first unmanned taxi launched in Russia". Herald Globe. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  11. ^ "Нет закона и интернета: почему по дорогам Татарстана не ездят беспилотники?". (in Russian). Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  12. ^ Stewart, Jack (2019-01-16). "The Bold Robocar Roaming Las Vegas Without a Human Backup". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  13. ^ Kleinman, Zoe (2020-01-06). "Russian car with no driver at wheel tours Vegas". BBC News. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  14. ^ "Yandex to operate self-driving cars in Israel". Globes (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  15. ^ "The Russians are coming! Yandex-built smart cars to be tested in Tel Aviv - Israel News - Jerusalem Post". Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  16. ^ "Yandex' Autonomous Vehicles to Roam Around the Heart of Tel Aviv". CTech. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  17. ^ Khrennikov, Ilya (2019-10-18). "Russia's Yandex Joins the Self-Driving Car Million-Mile Club". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  18. ^ "Waymo has now driven 10 billion autonomous miles in simulation". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  19. ^ "The Self-Driving Car Companies Going The Distance". Statista. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
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  21. ^ "Waymo announces 7 million miles of testing, putting it far ahead of rivals". ArsTechnica. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
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  27. ^ "Yandex claims 2 million self-driving car miles, double in 4 months". VentureBeat. 2020-02-14. Retrieved 2020-03-24.
  28. ^ "Yandex inks deal with Hyundai to build self-driving car tech for its Mobis OEM division". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  29. ^ a b "Yandex joins forces with Hyundai to build self-driving car technology". Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  30. ^ Windsor, Richard. "Autonomous Autos: Deal With Hyundai Mobis Is A Big Credibility Boost For Yandex". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  31. ^ "Yandex and Hyundai ink deal to develop driverless car components". VentureBeat. 2019-03-19. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  32. ^ "Hyundai Sonata gets a self-driving makeover from Yandex". Mashable. 2019-07-11.
  33. ^ Hawkins, Andrew J. (2019-02-13). "California's self-driving car reports are imperfect, but they're better than nothing". The Verge. Retrieved 2019-05-23.