Yandex’s self-driving car unit has accelerated through the coronavirus pandemic, becoming one of the world’s top 3 companies for the number of miles driven by automated vehicles. In a conference call with investors Tuesday, 28th of July, the Russian technology giant said its fleet of 130 vehicles had passed four million miles in autonomous driving
The milestone is the latest in Yandex’s heavy investment into driverless technology. The mile count has doubled since the previous update in February, and its global ranking has climbed from fifth — when the company hit the one-million-mile landmark in October 2019 — to third, deputy chief executive Tigran Khudaverdyan said on the call.
But Yandex is still well behind market leader Waymo, a project run by Google’s parent company Alphabet. In its latest public update in January, Alphabet executives said Waymo cars had hit 20 million miles driven on public roads — more than ten times Yandex’s mileage at that point.