Support The Moscow Times!

Europe’s First Driverless Taxis to Launch in Russia

Mikhail Metsel / TASS

Russian tech giant Yandex has announced the launch of Europe’s first driverless taxi, which will hit the road in Innopolis, also known as the “Russian Silicon Valley.”

Yandex unveiled a driverless car prototype last year designed to operate under its Yandex.Taxi service. Companies across the world have been competing, with varying levels of success, to put a safe self-driving car on the road. 

On Tuesday, Yandex announced a deal with officials in Russia’s Tatarstan republic to test its self-driving cars on the roads of Innopolis, a young city in the suburbs of Kazan built to spur IT innovation. 

“Innopolis became the first city in Europe where you can use a ‘driverless’ for daily trips,” Yandex said.

A promo video on Yandex.Taxi’s YouTube page shows a three-seat hatchback cruising the streets of Innopolis, stopping in front of pedestrians and outmaneuvering other vehicles. 

The car allegedly made an 11-hour journey from Moscow to Kazan in June, during which Yandex said the co-pilot only had to intervene 1 percent of the time.

Yandex said two of its driverless vehicles will offer free shuttles around five central locations in Innopolis.

A test engineer will occupy one of the taxi’s three seats at all times, Yandex said.

“We understand that a car without a driver is a new phenomenon for our roads,” the company said. 

Read more

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

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.