While Apple is clearly taking its time when it comes to building an autonomous EV, other tech companies are much more prolific, moving rather fast with their ambitions in the automotive market.
One of them is Yandex, a tech giant that’s currently considered the top Google alternative in Russia, as it offers a large suite of online services, including a search engine and maps.
Yandex has been working on autonomous cars for quite some time, and this week, the company announced that after tests carried out in Russia, Israel, and even the United States, it’s ready to begin a public trial of its self-driving taxis.
In other words, robotaxis are becoming a real thing in Russia thanks to Yandex, with the service to originally launch in a single Moscow district only for a limited number of registered customers.
Yandex wants to take everything one at a time, so the company says it’s rolling out the robotaxi service in a limited area before it collects additional data and then expands it to more regions.
Customers who want to book a robotaxi will be able to do so using the Yandex.Go mobile application.
The reason for picking Yasenevo as the first location where the service will be available is the local appetite for taking a taxi in the region, with Yandex explaining many residents turn to this means of transportation more than in other Moscow districts.
In the meantime, more tech companies are looking into plans to expand in the automotive industry. In addition to Apple, Huawei is also believed to be working on its very own EV, and Chinese firm Xiaomi has also confirmed a multi-billion investment whose purpose is the development of a zero-emission car.
Phone maker OPPO is also exploring an EV project, according to people familiar with the matter, and there’s no doubt other companies are considering similar plans that could all gain more pace when Apple officially announces the Apple Car.