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Russia's search giant Yandex is making a self-driving shuttle bus

Internet search giants Google is making self-driving cars, and now Russia's Yandex wants it too.

Google’s big competitor in Russia, Yandex, has services to rival its U.S. counterpart’s efforts in search, mobile, and much more.

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.

Uber company  been making very rapid progress on its plan to replace its one million-plus drivers with computers. The company will deploy around 100 modified Volvo XC90s outfitted with self-driving equipment.

Yandex already has deals with Toyota and Honda to see its navigation and web-browsing tools embedded in the car-makers’ vehicles in the Russian market. A spokesman said the firm was also talking to manufacturers in other countries.

Source: Fortune,

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