Internet search giants making self-driving cars appears to be a trend, and Russia’s Yandex wants in. It’s partnering with Daimler, truck maker Kamaz and government-backed researchers at NAMI on an autonomous shuttle bus that could carry up to 12 people and travel about 124 miles on a charge. Yandex is contributing its experiences with artificial intelligence, computer vision and voice recognition, and it’ll even be central to the interface — you’ll use a Yandex-linked mobile app to pinpoint your destination.
NAMI will start testing the self-driving bus on closed circuits in 2017, and it’s bound to be a while after that before you can see one (or something like it) cruising the streets. There’s no guarantee that you’ll ever get to ride this bus beyond Russian borders, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Yandex’s technology finds its way into more vehicles. If nothing else, this is further evidence that driverless transportation is quickly becoming a worldwide phenomenon.