I rode in a self-driving car for the first time, and it was operated by the Google of Russia - here's what it was like
Jan 13, 2019, 19:40 IST
This is what the car, a converted Toyota Prius, looked like.
It had three lidar sensors, which emit pulses of light to detect objects and determine how far they are from the car.
The car had five cameras, like the one pictured below.
It had a computer in the trunk.
Inside, there were two iPads that illustrated part of what the vehicle was seeing.
The ride was uneventful, and the route generally avoided difficult maneuvers like unprotected left turns and merges into busy lanes.
The car felt like it was being driven by a cautious human.
Dmitry Polishchuk, Yandex's head of self-driving, said the company had not yet determined if it will keep testing in Las Vegas or elsewhere in the US after CES.
Challenges remain for Yandex's autonomous driving division, the two most difficult of which are developing a vehicle's ability to make decisions and predict what vehicles and people around it will do.
But Yandex has made a significant amount of progress in just a few years.
Polishchuk said Yandex was able to start giving rides to customers so quickly because it had previously developed products that correspond to some of the capabilities needed for self-driving cars, including computer vision for image search, a navigation app, and a localization feature that can determine where people are using its search engine.
While Polishchuk said Waymo is the current leader in autonomous driving technology, he said he believes Yandex can compete with Waymo's autonomous driving software.