After the US and Russia Yandex to operate self-driving cars in Israel

Israel will launch a test program for autonomous vehicles in Israel Israel will be the third country - after the US and Russia - in which the company will run an experimental program. Yandex is the second operator to operate an autonomous pilot in Israel, following the cooperation of Volkswagen and Mobilay

Russian giant company Yandex has announced today that Israel’s Ministry of Transport has granted it permission to operate a road testing trips for full self-driving vehicles on the public highways. The company said that the autonomous car will now begin operating with a safety engineer in the driver’s seat.

According to Yandex, Israel will be the third country after Russia and most recently, the United States, in which it conducted these pilots in Las Vegas, and Nevada in preparation for its public demonstration at CES in January 2019. For Israel, Yandex is the third company to bring its autonomous technology to the country.

Volkswagen and Israeli company Computer Vision announced two months ago the launch of an autonomous taxi project in Tel Aviv. The two companies said that the first stages of the program will take place at the beginning of 2019 and over time the fleet will grow and be fully commercialized in 2022.

Other companies also operate self-driving cars in Israel including Mobileye.

Why Israel was chosen as the test zone for its autonomous fleet?

“Israel became an obvious choice as one of the first countries outside Russia where we wanted to expand our testing. Israel is one of the first countries in the world to have legislation and regulation in the matter of permits for autonomous vehicles on state roads,” Dmitry Polyshuk, head of the autonomous vehicle development group at Yandex, said. “And we will be able to cooperate with them quickly and efficiently, and we do not rule out the possibility of employing local developers for our future projects. ”

The company has completed about 2,000 autonomous trips in which human passengers. The company said that it performs daily trips on the streets of Moscow, as well as inter-city travel.

At the beginning of December, Yandex launched in Israel a taxi booking app: Yango. The company currently operates in Tel Aviv, although it promised to operate in several other regions of Israel  Rishon LeZion,  Kfar Saba, Rehovot, Ra’anana, Petah Tikva, Haifa, Netanya, Ashdod, and Ashkelon

The Russian tech giant also opened up Yandex School of Data Analysis in Tel Aviv to offer a one-year career advancement program in machine learning. It also launched its Music AI-powered music streaming application.

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