Russian company Yandex plans to launch the first autonomous ride-hailing service in Europe and they are taking all the steps towards making it a reality.
The company is currently testing two self-driving vehicles in Innopolis, a city of just 3,000 people that rests 700Km away from the capital.
The locals travel free of charge around the city, to a couple of locations within the city such as the stadium, university and some residential blocks. The passengers use a ‘telegram chatbot’ that confirms their destinations and that’s it.
Credit: Yandex Taxi / YouTube
A safety engineer is still present in the front passenger seat, for, well, safety reasons, obviously.
In February, one of the Toyota Prius Taxis was seen navigating through central Moscow during light rain and -6 C temperatures. Since there’s been no news of an accident, we can assume everything went well.
If the trial goes according to plan, the company intends to roll out the ride-hailing service to other cities, bring more vehicles and eventually have them drive around without the safety engineer on board.