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.
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.
This was a big year for Yandex.Music, as we expanded to three new countries (Armenia, Uzbekistan, and Israel) and our streaming service became available through new platforms, like our Yandex.Station smart speaker and Yandex.Phone. Yandex.Music provides over 20 million listeners in six countries with access to tens of millions of tracks. As 2018 comes to a close, we wanted to take a look at what our users on Yandex.Music have been listening to the most over the past year. We’ve looked at stats for each country and found a few key trends that stand out. The Yandex.Music experts found the most popular artists for each market, as well as the most streamed foreign and Russian-language artists.
There has recently been a lot of news coverage regarding tech companies in the US and globally and their partnerships with Facebook. We wanted to explain the nature of our former partnership with Facebook to help our users better understand the dynamics and to ensure our users that we are deeply committed to protecting their privacy.
Today we are excited to announce that Yandex has obtained permission from the Israeli Ministry of Transportation and Road Safety to operate its self-driving car on public roads. The car is now officially approved to operate in autonomous mode with a safety engineer in the driver’s seat. Following extensive public road testing in Russia and most recently, in the US, this new location marks the third country where Yandex is testing its self-driving vehicles. Yandex is also one of the first companies to operate self-driving cars in Israel.