Russian tech giant Yandex has been testing autonomous vehicles on public roads since December 2017, starting in Moscow and later expanding to Innopolis, Skolkovo, and Las Vegas. The program’s next phase saw cars reach Tel Aviv’s city limits, and now, after five months of successful testing in Israel, the company’s prepping for further expansion. Yandex today announced that it’ll open a local Tel Aviv office with a team of self-driving engineers and that it plans to operate upwards of 100 driverless cars worldwide by the end of this year. “Combined, the driving conditions and challenges of [new] locations ultimately help advance our self-driving system to better operate in new environments,” wrote Yandex in a blog post. “We’re excited to continue our work building a scalable autonomous technology that can operate in any number of driving conditions.” Toward that end, Yandex notes that there’s more roundabouts in Israel compared with the U.S. and Russia, and that Tel Aviv drivers often park their cars wherever they can find a spot in the city’s narrow, winding roads. Unlike drivers in Moscow, which tend to exceed speed limits by up to 12 miles per hour (the minimum threshold to exceed a ticket), Israelis are… Read full this story
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