Yandex is Russia's most popular search engine and rivals American carmaker Google in terms of search and mobile tech (mostly in Russia and some other eastern European countries).
The Russian technology giant is always trying to beat its American rival, in whatever way possible. Now it would seem that the rivalry has moved on to the world of autonomous vehicles.
Yandex on Wednesday, August 24, announced a partnership with truck manufacturer Kamaz (who are quite well known for their Dakar going rally trucks) and the Moscow-based NAMI automotive research facility, which is backed by the Russian government.
Details about the partnership are quite scarce but the partnership plans to build autonomous minibusses for which Yandex will bring in its expertise with regards to artificial intelligence, speech recognition, and computer vision.
The NAMI automotive research facility has stated that it intends to start testing the driverless minibus early next year. However, the institute does not plan to bring the testing onto open roads just yet.
This is Yandex's first foray into the world of self-driving vehicles and from the image seen above, it does seem to be quite a lot bigger than what Google plans to put on the roads, in the near future.