Last week the Yandex.Taxi driverless car team passed another major milestone on our mission to achieve a level 5 self-driving car, which began with the May 2017 prototype launch. The Yandex.Taxi autonomous car safely navigated the streets of Moscow after a recent snowstorm managing interactions with traffic, pedestrians, parked vehicles and other road hazards on snowy and icy streets. The drive, which occurred during light precipitation and -6 C (21 F) temperatures, was an advanced test challenging the vehicle with winter weather conditions on public roads.
Over the last few months the team has been testing prototypes in winter weather conditions on a closed course near Moscow. In December 2017, the team debuted the car on public roads and began collecting data during public street testing to further advance Yandex’s driverless technology.
Navigating snow-covered city streets requires significant amounts of data including images of both the snowy roads and street signs. Moscow offers our team a great testing ground for our self-driving car, challenging it with both high traffic volumes and diverse weather and seasonal changes.
Our journey with our self-driving car began less than a year ago on closed testing grounds and dry weather conditions. Today we are excited to have advanced our technology to safely navigate the challenges of public streets and winter weather.
We will continue to test our self-driving cars on public roads, collecting more data to make our technology smarter and more reliable. It’s our goal to expand our capabilities to create a universally applicable technology that manages all road challenges and weather conditions.