Driverless vehicles developed by Russian internet major Yandex have hit 1mn miles of test drive mileage in Russia, the US, and Israel, the company announced on October 17, and confirming previous reports by bne IntelliNews.
"This important milestone firmly establishes Yandex as Europe’s largest driverless car developer, ranking the company in the top five autonomous vehicle companies globally, which have completed this distance," Yandex commented in the press release, adding that this group also includes Waymo, Cruise Automation, Baidu and Uber.
To compare, the mileage of Google's driverless subsidiary Waymo is 12.9mn km, while all of its testing fleet has a mileage of 29mn km. The subsidiary of General Motors Cruise Automation had 0.9mn km mileage in 2018 and 2017, while Uber Technologies claimed to have reached 2mn km in 2017.
Most of the mileage for Yandex was done on actual public roads in live traffic, most of it Moscow and Tel Aviv since 2018. All of the tested vehicles bear the names from the science fiction series Westworld and the oldest car in the 50-odd park Bernard covered over 76,000km.
To remind, the head of the driverless division Dmitri Poleshuk told Reuters on August 19 that Yandex could expand its driverless fleet to over 1000 units over the next two years.
With about 1,000 vehicles Yandex would be able to reach 1mn km mileage in one week, thus exponentially increasing the speed of development.
Yandex has been active in transportation and mobility solutions, with a major merger of Yandex.Taxi service and Uber, a cooperation deal on driverless technologies with South Korean car major Hyundai, as well as other services in the carsharing and carpooling markets.