When we set out to develop our self-driving technology, we envisioned a future of safer and more convenient transportation. As we continue to advance our technology, we’re excited to announce a new application for our self-driving platform that has the potential to improve many intelligent products and services within the Yandex ecosystem and beyond. Using the proven hardware and software behind our self-driving cars, we’ve built a delivery robot that can intelligently and autonomously deliver small packages.
Our robot, which we named Yandex.Rover after the classic lunar exploration vehicles, is the size of a suitcase and navigates sidewalks at the speed of a pedestrian. As part of the initial testing phase, Yandex.Rover just started operating on the Yandex campus in Moscow, transporting small packages. While moving around our headquarters, the robot recognizes and safely navigates around pedestrians, pets, and any other obstacles.
By testing on our campus first, we can ensure Rover safely operates in many challenging conditions before operating across the city. We are testing during various weather conditions in both daylight and darkness. Yandex.Rover can reach its destination in fully autonomous mode, but we monitor its activities with a remote operator. With over 7,000 employees and multiple office buildings, public restaurants, and parking garages on our main campus, Yandex HQ is an excellent testing ground for this project.
Similar to the way we initially only offered self-driving car rides to Yandex employees, we are first using Rover with Yandex team members to ensure our delivery robot is as safe, reliable, and user-friendly as possible. In the future, we envision Yandex.Rover automating last-mile delivery for millions of Yandex users, presenting an efficient and economical way to deliver goods from relevant services throughout our ecosystem.
From food delivery through the Yandex.Eats platform and grocery orders from Yandex.Lavka, Rover will be able to provide users their meals and essentials sustainably and conveniently. Customers of our e-Commerce platform, Beru, may have their orders delivered by Yandex.Rover. We even see applications for Rover at our eCommerce warehouses and data centers, where the robot could be used to transport cargo within the facilities.
We are excited to welcome Yandex.Rover to our family of autonomous products. There’s great potential for the delivery robot to help millions of users who rely on the Yandex ecosystem to more easily navigate the online and offline world. We don’t think the road ends there either — we believe many other companies will benefit from using our delivery robot for a range of shipping and delivery needs.
Please note this article, was first published on medium.com. View the article here.