In early September, we announced the launch of our intelligent public cloud platform, Yandex.Cloud. The first phase of our launch included organizations that requested access to the platform and the companies that started using Yandex.Cloud during the initial test period. After this preliminary rollout period, we are excited to announce that Yandex.Cloud is now available for all enterprise users in Russia.
Today, Yandex announced the release of its first smartphone, Yandex.Phone. This device is the first phone to be fully powered by our intelligent assistant, Alice, and it is the first smartphone to be entirely integrated into the Yandex mobile ecosystem of apps and services right out of the box. We’re excited to provide mobile users with the best Yandex smartphone experience.
Yandex is excited to announce that we have received a license to operate our self-driving car in the state of Nevada. With this autonomous vehicle license, we will be demoing our self-driving car on the public roads of Las Vegas during the week of CES 2019. From Tuesday, January 8th until Friday, January 11th, we will be providing rides in our self-driving car for the first time outside of Russia.
Almost 20 years ago in 2000, Yandex launched its first group of services beyond search and search advertising. In addition to news and email offerings, we introduced our first products designed to help users find goods sold online and in stores. In 2002, we officially launched our comparison shopping platform Yandex.Market, offering books, films, cosmetics, footwear, clothing, stationery, and toys from 150 e-commerce sites. Today, Yandex.Market serves over 20 million monthly users, offering them over 160 million goods from over 21,000 sites.
Yandex this week unveiled two new third-party smart speakers integrated with our intelligent assistant, Alice. The IRBIS A and DEXP Smartbox compact smart speakers will be available exclusively from two of the largest consumer electronics retailers in Russia, M.Video and DNS. The devices will retail for 3290 rubles ($50).
Today, Yandex announced the latest update for its search engine. The “Andromeda” update has been rolled out by the Yandex search team over the last year and has included over one thousand improvements and features. The most notable of these features are an enhanced "quick answers" functionality, along with providing users an easy way to recognize reliable sources and giving users a visual way to save searches with Yandex.Collections.
At Yandex, we have had the opportunity to play a major role in the way Russian users adopt new technologies and services to better navigate their daily routines. Our expansion into food tech is no exception. In February, we launched the Yandex.Eats food delivery service, which connects users with restaurants in a growing number of cities across Russia. Yandex.Eats is helping to add new and innovative ways for Russian consumers to enjoy their meals.
A year ago, Yandex launched its intelligent assistant, Alice, equipped with advanced conversational abilities that uniquely enable users to engage in free-flowing chit-chat. Alice was first available through our search app, connecting users with many core Yandex services to help navigate their daily routines. Some of the original services included Search, News, Weather, and Music. Today, 30 million people use Alice every month on multiple platforms, and the assistant has become more useful and fun through the addition of thousands of new skills. In honor of one year in production, we wanted to share an update on Alice's growth.
On August 28, 2018, Yandex.Taxi unveiled Europe's first autonomous ride-hailing service in the tech hub of Innopolis, Russia. Today we are excited to announce that, in just two months, our self-driving cars in Innopolis have completed 1,000 autonomous rides with passengers!
Today marks the seventh anniversary of our ride-hailing service, Yandex.Taxi. On October 26, 2011, we launched a new service supported by our world-class machine learning and mapping technologies to improve the Moscow taxi market. Since then, Yandex.Taxi has expanded to over a dozen countries, and we recently reached a major milestone for our service.
As the quality and resolution of the screens in our homes and pockets reaches ever higher levels, the comparatively lower quality of photos and videos made decades ago becomes more obvious. Here at Yandex, the Computer Vision team within our Machine Intelligence and Research Division has developed a neural-network based super-resolution technology, DeepHD, to help bring these media classics into the digital age. DeepHD enhances the quality of both photos and videos and with its application to Yandex images and content hosted on our video and TV streaming services, it is the first technology of its kind in production.
During the month of September, the global tech community recognizes three important celebrations relating to Yandex: Programmers’ Day, Online Learning Day, and National Coding Week. Here in the Yandex community, we are always appreciative of the work of our thousands of programmers and learners of all ages in our educational programs. For these occasions, we wanted to extend a special thank you to our community of professionals, instructors, and students who are all helping grow the data science field and working to shape the future of tech in our lives.
The Yandex self-driving team first began working on our driverless technology in 2016, combining our expertise in machine learning, navigation, mapping tools, and cloud technologies. In May of 2017, we introduced our prototype and since then have rapidly advanced from testing on closed tracks to driving on the busy streets of Moscow and our most recent fully autonomous ride-hailing launch.
Today in a press release, Yandex announced that it has advanced Yandex.Cloud to provide companies with low-cost and flexible IT solutions that include scalable virtual infrastructure with multiple management options, automated services for the labour-intensive management tasks of popular databases systems, and AI-based Yandex services. Yandex.Cloud also offers flexible pricing to suit different companies’ diverse needs and is deployed across multiple local data centers, enabling companies to store and use databases containing personal data in Russia as required by law.
Today we are thrilled to announce that Yandex.Taxi’s self-driving car is now offering a ride-hailing service to passengers in the university city of Innopolis, Russia. As the first service to offer autonomous ride-hailing in Europe, we are not only excited to help users safely and efficiently navigate to destinations but also to help the public adopt driverless technology and the future of transportation.
Earlier this year Yandex expanded its transportation services and efforts to improve urban living by launching its first car sharing service, Yandex.Drive, becoming one of the largest services in Moscow and surpassing over 2 million rides within the first six months of operation. Yandex.Drive, which offers drivers on-demand access to a fleet of vehicles through a mobile application, has since added a business class option and yesterday announced a refueling service for its fleet.
Today at our annual Yet Another Conference (YAC) we announced major expansions to the Yandex intelligent assistant ecosystem that includes our new smart speaker, a new skills platform for our intelligent assistant Alice, and a new bundled subscription service. Combined these developments offer the Russian audience more choice and the most advanced ability to navigate the online and offline world to date.
Last fall we launched our intelligent assistant Alice, providing the Russian market with an assistant equipped with high-quality conversational abilities and advanced understanding of context. We were especially excited to provide users with this unique interactive feature and we were humbled by the overwhelming positive feedback we received. Today Alice engages in tens of millions of interactions every day to millions of daily active users.
In 2016, the Yandex panoramic maps team undertook a major project with Toyota of Russia to create the world’s first ever panoramic climb up Mt. Everest to enable users to experience one of the world’s most challenging climbs and highest peak through a life-like experience. After two attempts at capturing images and a few years of physical and technical work, the team launched the Yandex Everest page, where people can experience the same climb mountaineers made from every existing Everest base camp. The panoramic climb offers viewers an interactive movie-like experience up to the peak with commentary on the history and facts on Everest.
Every day our ridesharing service Yandex.Taxi provides millions of rides to and from work, friends’ and families’ homes, classes, the gym, and many other locations. This past January alone our thousands of drivers provided over 62 million rides to users of the service. While helping facilitate millions of rides, we are also committed to making each and every ride a positive experience for both our drivers and passengers. One of the most important aspects of providing a high-quality user experience is ensuring passenger safety.