Yandex, Russia’s Google, making autonomous minibus

NAMI minibus

Looks like everybody is getting into the autonomous vehicle space. The latest entry is search giant Yandex, also known as the Google of Russia. Yandex announced its partnership with Kamaz, a Russian truck manufacturer, to develop a driverless minibus.

Also involved are Daimler and Moscow-based NAMI, which is famed for its automotive research and is backed by the Russian government. Yandex is bringing its expertise in computer vision, artificial intelligence and speech recognition. It will even be adding features to the interface, and passengers will be using a Yandex-linked mobile app to determine destination and other trip related features.

The minibus will seat 12 and claims to have a range of about 200km. NAMI has stated that it will begin testing the vehicle on closed courses from next year.

Currently there isn’t any guarantee that we would even see this Russian minibus outside of the country’s borders, but it is evident that autonomous vehicles are becoming the next big thing in the transportation industry.

Here in Dubai, we’re already very keen to see how robotic cars will do and can only wait with bated breath as these giants from around the world compete to provide us with the best and most reliable service.