Unmanned vehicle as weeding motorcade in Innopolis

Three smart cars created by Yandex on the basis of Toyota Prius keep on driving as a taxi in the streets of the IT capital. Their number can seriously increase till the end of the year

Unmanned vehicle as weeding motorcade in Innopolis Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

The first wedding in Russia whose motorcade consisted of only one vehicle took place in Tatarstan on 10 August. But what a car was it — unmanned car by Yandex. The smart car itself delivered the newly-wed couple to the registry office — the A. Popov Technopark in Innopolis and shocked the guests of the event. More is in Realnoe Vremya’s report.

“It is impossible to get to a wedding in a completely unmanned car anywhere in Russia”

A young couple, new residents of Innopolis got married on that day — professional developer, University of Innopolis graduate in 2016 and now employee of one of the residents of the “city of the future” Sergey Ulyanov and Kazan State Medical University student Irina Lukoyanova. Yandex’s unmanned Toyota Prius delivered the newly-wed couple to the registry office, the A. Popov Technopark. The car moved autonomously without any engineer and human involvement.

The event is really unique, as unmanned vehicles are just tested now in Russia, moreover, with a compulsory condition: there must be an attendant in the car — a deliberately trained person who is ready to drive the vehicle in case of emergency and who is completely responsible for the smart vehicle’s behaviour on the road. For this reason, the car covered just a short distance outside public roads during the ceremony — just about 100 meters, however, it managed to leave an impression on the guests of the ceremony.

The event is really unique, as unmanned vehicles are just tested now in Russia. Photo: Oleg Tikhonov

“It seemed to us that a wedding in such a format is cool. We drive the unmanned car in the city from time to time, and it already became a habitual reality. This is a peculiarity of Innopolis — it is great to use the opportunities existing here, I would say, exclusive opportunities. The city itself is technological and developed. It seems to me it is impossible to get to a wedding in a completely unmanned car anywhere in the world, at least in Russia. Here it is real, and we decided to take advantage. The first unmanned taxi appeared right here, in Innopolis, but it is very unusual for guests. Now it has been less possible to call the unmanned car in the last time, the demand is high, and they are often busy with other orders,” Sergey Ulyanov shared with Realnoe Vremya.

Yandex unmanned car fleet in Tatarstan might grow till the end of the year

The government decree No. 1415 regulating the procedure of three-year testing of unmanned vehicles on public roads has been in force in Russia since last year. Moscow and Tatarstan, particularly Innopolis, became the pilot test sites by tradition. Apart from it, together with Skolkovo, Innopolis has also been a test site for Yandex unmanned cars as a taxi since 28 August 2018 — the cars pick up residents from six most popular points of the city and drive them free to their destination. Everyone can call such a taxi with an app.

Nowadays there are three unmanned cars created by Yandex on the basis of those Toyota Prius cars in the run (robotised vehicles created on the platform of only one type has managed to be certified to be tested on urban roads, Hyundai samples will be launched in the short run, too). The Innopolis newly-weds drove one of such cars on 10 August.

Head of Unmanned Cars Department at Yandex Dmitry Polischuk visited the ceremony as well. We managed to talk with the specialist about legislative roadblocks on the way of unmanned vehicles to public roads and prospects of widening the Innopolis smart car fleet till the end of the year already. Read about this and more in Realnoe Vremya’s interview this week.

Realnoe Vremya online newspaper
Tatarstan