Russia’s Yandex to Launch Delivery Robots in U.S.

Yandex’s statement said that its self-driving rovers have been operating in Russia since late 2020Moskva News Agency

Russian tech giant Yandex said Tuesday it planned to launch self-driving delivery robots on U.S. college campuses later this year, the company’s latest push into foreign markets.

In a statement, the Russian group said it would partner with U.S. delivery giant Grubhub to deploy the self-driving rovers at 250 college campuses across the United States.

“We are delighted to deploy dozens of our rovers, taking the next step in actively commercializing our self-driving technology in different markets across the globe,” said Dmitry Polishchuk, CEO of Yandex Self-Driving Group.

“Together with Yandex, we’re changing the way college students experience food delivery,” said Brian Madigan, vice president of corporate and campus partners at Grubhub. 

“While college campuses are notoriously difficult for cars to navigate, specifically as it relates to food delivery, Yandex robots easily access parts of campuses that vehicles cannot.”

Yandex’s statement said that its self-driving rovers have been operating in Russia since late 2020 and have already been deployed in the United States, delivering orders from restaurants in Ann Arbor, Michigan since April. 

The expansion is Yandex’s latest foray abroad, after announcing in April plans to launch its rapid grocery delivery service in France later this year. It is also gearing up to start operations in London.

Having started out as a search engine in Russia, the company is now also known for food delivery and taxi services, including self-driving vehicles.

The company, nicknamed the “Russian Google”, is already present in some European countries, such as Finland and the Baltic states, mainly with its taxi service. 

(C)MOSCOW TIMES 2021

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