With schools closed and millions of children home during the COVID-19 outbreak, communities everywhere are faced with the challenge of ensuring that their children can continue learning. Yandex has over thirty educational programs spanning from early education to graduate-level courses. We are excited to apply our thirteen years of expertise in this field to help families navigate the challenges of homeschooling. Together with the Center for Pedagogical Excellence in Moscow, we created a free online education platform, Yandex.School, to help students, teachers, and parents follow the school curriculum from their desktops and smartphones at home.
As COVID-19 spreads, the uncertain situation has led many people to rush out and stock up on essential goods. Since this results in shortages and empty shelves, people are increasingly having trouble finding staple goods. With additional stay home orders in place, online shopping has become an even more critical service for users.
The outbreak of COVID-19 is upending the lives of billions of people around the world. This situation has called on individuals and organizations across the globe to do their part to help communities everywhere. Now more than ever, people are turning to connected, intelligent services to help them overcome this uncertain time. Here at Yandex, we’re working to adapt our tools that help consumers and businesses navigate the online and offline world for the current reality. Even as our community of over 10,000 team members transitions to working from home, we’re diligently working on finding solutions that will help people during these challenging times.
For International Women’s Day, we recognize the outstanding achievements of women everywhere. Today more than ever, women are creating change. And at Yandex, we want to extend an extra appreciation to our female community members creating change.
As part of our reflection for International Women’s Day 2020, we are sharing insights from just a small portion of our expansive community of outstanding women – women who drive for Yandex.Taxi
Yandex has always taken a particular interest in cultivating positive environments that aid in children’s development. Our late co-founder Ilya Segalovich brought his passion for youth development to Yandex through initiatives such as Yandex’s outreach programs at Russian orphanages, including Maria’s Children, founded by his wife. We’ve carried on the spirit of Ilya’s compassion for children through our education programs and tools designed to create positive learning environments, such as Yandex.Textbook.
Last week, the newest class of students at Y-DATA, the hub of our education initiatives in Israel, completed their first semester of the one-year data science program. By summer, this cohort of roughly 90 students will become the second alumni class of Y-DATA, enhancing both the Israeli tech and global research communities.
Today, we’re excited to announce the latest advancements for Russia’s largest search engine. The Vega update brings 1,500 improvements to Yandex Search that help our 50 million daily search users in Russia find the best solutions to their queries. The most significant improvements from Vega pair machine learning with human knowledge and double our search index to deliver users better quality results at lightning speed, and we're excited to share more on the major updates with today's announcement.
Ready to “exterminate” your boredom this winter and find out what happens in the upcoming season of Doctor Who? We have great news! The TARDIS has officially landed in Russia and the CIS! Following a new deal between our streaming platform, KinoPoisk HD, and BBC Studios, we will become the exclusive video on-demand (VOD) home for all existing series of Doctor Who in Russia, plus the upcoming 12th season of the show.
At Yandex, we appreciate the environmental hazards posed by the globe’s growing e-waste, and as we roll out new devices, we’re taking steps to try and reduce it. In October, on the first day of sales of our Yandex.Station Mini smart speaker, we encouraged people to bring their older speakers to our official store to exchange them for a free Yandex.Station Mini.
We’re always looking for new ways to provide people with the tools they need for learning the most in-demand data science skills. Collaborating with leading academic institutions to create online learning opportunities is an excellent way for us to impact as many learners as possible. Today, we’re proud to announce another channel for online learners - we’ve partnered with Moscow’s Higher School of Economics (HSE) University and Coursera to help launch Russia’s first online English master’s program in data science.
For over twenty years, we’ve been Russia’s leading digital advertiser, finding new and innovative ways to connect consumers with content. We introduced the first banner ad in Yandex Search in 1997, and four years later, we launched Russia’s first ad placement system with Yandex.Direct. Now Russia’s largest digital advertising platform, Yandex.Direct makes it easy for organizations to place ads within our search results, across the Yandex ecosystem, and on our partner sites in the Yandex Advertising Network (YAN). Our partner sites are central to the success of Yandex.Direct, and today, we’re excited to announce a new collaboration with one of the world’s fastest-growing video content networks, TikTok. Yandex.Direct advertisers will soon be able to place ads in TikTok within the standard YAN auction.
As one of Europe's largest tech companies, we believe we have a responsibility to create learning opportunities for the current and future generations of data scientists. As many industries continue to enhance their businesses with AI and data science, it's critical to teach students the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow. While we began our education initiatives in our core market of Russia, our education goals are part of a broader global learning environment. We're committed to steps that reflect the needs of learners around the world and extend the reach of our academic programs to as many individuals as possible.
We’re excited to be revolutionizing the streaming experience in Russia for tens of millions of viewers every month with our Yandex.Live service, which makes it easier than ever to watch content online. Yandex.Live brings together all of our video services, powered by our intelligent machine learning tech to create a personalized viewing platform with a vibrant community. The free, accessible service makes it easy for people to watch their favorite serials, films, games, and events wherever they may be.
We’ve long felt that being one of Europe’s largest tech companies means we have a responsibility to help educate current and future generations of data scientists. We’re continually looking for ways to advance machine learning for our users and the greater AI community, and one way of doing that is to encourage data science learning. Our education initiatives offer opportunities for a broad range of learners, from those interested in online courses to professionals looking for career advancement in computer science. Many of our education programs stem from our collaborations with higher education institutions, which enable us to work with the brightest scientific minds to teach diverse topics in machine learning. The annual Machine Learning in High Energy Physics summer school which we help organize is an excellent example of yet another one of our academic collaborations.
Earlier this week, we announced that our in-car infotainment system, Yandex.Auto, will ship with millions of new Renault, Nissan, AVTOVAZ/LADA vehicles in Russia. This expansion will build on the hundreds of thousands of cars that already integrate Yandex.Auto to provide more drivers with an easy and safe way to access their favorite Yandex services.
Knowing the weather forecast is a central part of our daily lives. The weather can affect how we dress for the day and if we walk to work or hail a taxi, for example. At Yandex, we appreciate that having an accurate weather forecast is critical to navigating daily routines. That’s why we developed our own weather forecasting tech, Meteum, which has enabled Yandex.Weather to be the first and only service in Russia to feature nowcasting in weather predictions. Today, we’re excited to announce that, after adding data from a second satellite, nowcasting is now available for nearly all 53 million monthly Yandex.Weather users in Russia, expanding from its initial rollout in European Russia.
We launched the Yandex.Auto in-vehicle infotainment system in 2017 with the goal of offering our users an easy and safe way to access their favorite Yandex services while on the move. Since then, Yandex.Auto infotainment system has been installed in over a hundred thousand new cars and has also been deployed in almost 10,000 cars in the Yandex.Drive car-sharing fleet.
Yandex.Taxi began as an on-demand transportation service in Moscow and today it operates an expansive ride-hailing business in 16 countries; a restaurant delivery service, Yandex.Eats; a meal-kit delivery service, Yandex.Chef; and an advanced self-driving car program. As the business continues to grow, we’re excited to announce the appointment of Yevgeny Senderov as Chief Financial Officer of Yandex.Taxi.