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A Peek into Yandex’s Autonomous Driving Ambitions

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Jun. 19 2019, Updated 2:17 p.m. ET

Nearly $40 billion up for grabs in autonomous taxi market

Yandex (YNDX) is planning to ramp up its self-driving program in the coming months. It aims to have more than 100 self-driving cars on the roads worldwide by the end of 2019. Yandex is already underway with autonomous driving tests in its home market of Russia, the United States, and Israel.

Yandex is planning a massive expansion of its autonomous driving program amid growing demand for autonomous vehicles and autonomous taxi service. According to Research&Markets, 10 million self-driving cars will be on the road worldwide by the end of 2020. By 2030, 20.8 million self-driving vehicles are expected to be operating in the United States. According to Frost & Sullivan, the global autonomous ride-hailing market will grow from $3.6 billion in 2026 to reach $38.6 billion by 2030.

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Race for autonomous taxi dollars becoming crowded

In August last year, Yandex began providing autonomous ride-hailing service in parts of Russia. Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Waymo followed suit, launching autonomous ride-hailing service in parts of Arizona, the United States, in December last year. Baidu (BIDU), China’s top search engine company, is also preparing to enter the autonomous ride-hailing business before the end of this year. Baidu last year struck partnerships with Ford Motor (F) and Volvo for its autonomous driving program. Uber Technologies (UBER) and Lyft (LYFT) are also aiming to bring autonomous vehicles into their ride-hailing business.

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