While American and Asian tech and automotive companies have been making great strides in free agent tech over the past couple of years, Russia is now entering the fray: Yandex, one of the better internet firms in the country, appear this week that it’s launched a self-driving car activity to set its on-demand taxi business on course for the future of mobility.

The aggregation is currently architecture its stack of technologies all-important for Level 5 (read: no human action required) free vehicles, and is set to begin testing on public roads next year. You can see one of its demo cars in action below:

So who else is in the running? Tech firms like Google aftereffect Waymo, Uber, and Comma.ai are alive to make self-driving cartage a reality. Waymo has even gone so far as to loan free minivans to families for daily use in Phoenix, Arizona.

In Asia, internet giant Baidu has begun testing its cars in its home market of China, while MIT aftereffect Nutonomy started trials of driverless cabs in Singapore last September and is partnering with Peugeot’s parent aggregation Groupe PSA for more tests. Samsung accustomed approval in South Korea for its own free agent trials last month, and India-based Tata Elxsi is alive on aftermarket tech that can be installed on absolute cars.

However, according to Navigant Research’s report from April, old-school automakers are far ahead of these tech-focused companies in the self-driving race. It advised factors like abstruse know-how, go-to-market strategy, assembly prowess, and business and administration to actuate which firms are best able for the next phase of mobility, and found GM and Ford to be at the front of the pack.

Yandex likely may not rank highly on that leaderboard if it were included, as it’s a brand new player in this space. However, as with Uber, Ford, and GM, it’s attractive to build out its tech so as to offer automatic cab services, so it may not necessarily have to worry about aggressive to be first out of the gate. It also claimed 55 percent of the on-demand taxi market in Russia as of last October, assault out Uber and Gett – so if it can keep that drive going, it’ll have plenty of rides to account with driverless cars in the coming years.

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