As it became known on the last day of May 2017, Russian company Yandex (a local search and navigation Internet company) that is in the process of development of driverless technology since 2016, managed to construct a first prototype. They unveiled the Toyota-based prototype that is equipped with a set of hardware and software that makes possible such things as geolocation, navigation, machine learning and the availability of a computer-based recognition of the surrounding environment of a car. Their technologies also rely on the self-built software possessed by Yandex such as Maps and Navigator.
In order to understand how to navigate in the city, the company’s specialists used the collected data from the drivers, users of its services. The entire set of incoming data from them was depersonalized and anonymised. As for now, the existing technology is already able to recognize probable traffic jams, the existing speed limits on the sites of the road, closed roads and others.
The company’s representative tells that they’ve been using the machine learning for some time already to help drivers, their users, to find the vacant parking lots, or to bypass the congestions on the roads and to know where in the geo space is a car – basically, they do the same what Google offered a long time ago already.
The company’s representative also told that Yandex elaborated its own hardware similar to existing in the world LIDARs and sensors. But they also use some part of the one that is mass-market available and they have plans to make a deal with the specialized developers of the hardware to enhance the process of self-driving technology to focus more on software’s production and its improvement.
However, the revealed prototype of a car cannot actually move itself in the real city conditions, as it is in the middle of the elaboration process only. Yandex says that they will begin road tests in one year from now if everything goes well as planned. It means that they will start testing somewhere in May 2018, where some early world companies will already have the working mass models of fully autonomous self-driving vehicles.
Yandex told in 2016 that they started working on the technology and they even signed an agreement with a local car manufacturer KamAz, having a goal to start a network of pilotless vehicles in Moscow. They supposed to have the technology for the intellectual spreading of the orders, as the company saw the great potential in the development of this tech in their country. But they did not tell what other companies would be involved in their foregoing plans. According to the official representative of KamAz, they did not have anything to show to the public at the moment of signing the agreement yet as their developments only supposed to be started.