Yandex announced a partnership on Wednesday with Russian truck manufacturer Kamaz, whose shareholders include the Russian government, Daimler, and the government-backed NAMI automotive research facility.
The deal revolves around the development of a driverless minibus shuttle. Yandex will bring to the party its expertise in computer vision, artificial intelligence, and speech recognition.
This is Yandex’s first foray into driverless vehicles. Details about the tie-up remain scarce, but NAMI said it intended to start testing the bus early next year—though not on the open roads just yet.
NAMI said the minibus would be able to accommodate 12 passengers and would have a range of around 200 kilometers (124 miles) before needing recharging.
Passengers will be able to specify their destinations using a smartphone app that connects to Yandex’s cloud.
Yandex already has deals with Toyota and Honda to see its navigation and web-browsing tools embedded in the car-makers’ vehicles in the Russian market. – Fortune.