Support The Moscow Times!

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.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.