If we want a truly mainstream driverless future, these cars have to be way more robust, able to go anywhere without much thought about weather or road conditions. In many parts of the world, the environment works directly against this. Consider the Russian capital of Moscow, which has countless twisty, narrow roads that are obscured by snow up to five months of every year. It’s a world away from Phoenix.
Russian tech giant Yandex strikes a strong corollary as “Russian Google,” with its own search engine, email service, cloud storage product, and yes, a driverless car initiative. The promise is that Yandex’s driverless cars will reinvent Yandex. Taxi, the company’s popular ridesharing app, merged with Uber last year.