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Russian Company Launches First Driverless Car in Moscow

Mikhail Metsel / TASS

Russia’s tech giant Yandex has conducted a successful test of its self-driving car through the harsh and snowy streets of Moscow.

Yandex.Taxi, an on-demand transportation service similar to Uber, first unveiled the driverless prototype in the summer of 2017. It tested the car’s maneuverability in snow conditions on a closed course in November.

“Today we are excited to have advanced our technology to safely navigate the challenges of public streets and winter weather,” Yandex said in an online press release Friday.

The road-test video demonstration shows the driverless car “managing interactions with traffic, pedestrians, parked vehicles and other road hazards on snowy streets.”

Yandex said that Moscow’s bad traffic and crowded streets offered a great testing ground for the driverless vehicle, “challenging it with both high traffic volumes and diverse weather and seasonal changes.”

President Vladimir Putin watched the driverless car start, turn a corner and stop — marking an abrupt end to the demonstration — on his visit to the Yandex headquarters in Moscow last fall.

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