Russian Tech Giant Yandex Shows Off Self-Driving Vehicle Prototype

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

The Russia-based tech giant Yandex recently showed off a self-driving vehicle prototype from its “Yandex.Taxi” on-demand taxi service (“on-demand rideshare service”) to media.

While the tech itself isn’t anything that we haven’t seen already — Velodyne LiDAR, a Nvidia GTX GPU, software that’s been developed in house, etc. — the fact that pretty much every major tech firm out there is now involved in self-driving vehicle development is worth drawing attention to.

Most of the major players in Silicon Valley, most of the major tech firms in China, most major auto manufacturers, etc. — it seems pretty much impossible to not notice how much momentum is now behind development efforts. When will these efforts bear fruit? Within 5 years? Within 10 years? Never?

With regard to Yandex’s self-driving vehicle prototype, the idea for now according to the company is simply to have a means of testing the software being developed — which is reportedly utilizing the expertise developed with regard to the company’s navigation, computer vision, geolocation, and machine learning tech (including from Yandex.Navigator and Yandex.Maps).

“We use anonymised data that we receive from Yandex.Navigator users, which allows us to understand how to drive in a city with its traffic congestion, accidents, speed limits, road closures and other traffic events,” commented Yandex.Taxi Head of PR Vladimir Isaev in an email to Autoblog. “We have been using computer vision technologies in a number of our services for quite a while. We use them to find vacant parking spaces or read road signs, for instance, in our geolocation services.”

TechCrunch provides more: “Expertise with computer vision use at Yandex comes from matching similar images for search results, and for translating text within a photo through its language service offerings. As a result of its combined software development efforts, as well as recent work on applying said tech to the automotive space, Yandex’s self-driving software for its prototype vehicle is developed completely in house, the company tells me. … Yandex says it’s using its own ‘custom-built’ hardware as well as mass market, generally available components for now, but it’s in talks with partners regarding the creation of fit-for-purpose automotive grade hardware down the road.”

The company’s prototype will reportedly begin real-world testing on public roads within a year. We’ll keep you posted as more is revealed.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

CleanTechnica Holiday Wish Book

Holiday Wish Book Cover

Click to download.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre