Russian tech company Yandex plans to start testing autonomous taxis in Moscow this year. The company operates services from online search to food delivery and has been testing self-driving technology for more than three years in Russia, Israel and the United States.
Robotaxis will be available through the company’s Yandex.Go application in the Moscow district of Yasenevo, a commuter area without major industrial sites, for certain customers, the company said. “Over time, there will be more cars, the number of locations you can go to and from will increase, and ever more people will be able to hail driverless taxis.”
Russian legislation does not yet allow driverless vehicles to travel without a person at the wheel, except in special economic zones, such as the city of Innopolis in the Tatarstan region. Restrictions on their use in certain areas of large cities could be partially lifted after a law came into force this year.
Yandex’s fleet of around 170 driverless cars has travelled more than 14 million kilometres. The company also has self-driving robots for food delivery, which already operate on some U.S. college campuses through a partnership with online food-ordering company GrubHub.