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Yandex might use Uber technology to work on self-driving car

October 25, 16:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Yandex.Taxi and Uber announced earlier that the companies agreed to combine their taxi businesses in Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan

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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, October 25. /TASS/. Yandex, as part of an agreement with Uber to join businesses in Russia and a number of other countries, will have access to Uber technologies to develop a self-driving car, Yandex finance director Greg Abovski said on Wednesday.

"On the one hand, we are developing our autonomous car project. We are sure that the basis for this is artificial intelligence, machine learning, sensors, maps, navigation and everything else. We have signed a deal with Uber, it allows access to technologies on an exclusive basis for our markets," he said.

Currently, Yandex is developing its autonomous car project. "The prototype of a self-driving car the company has developed is a step towards a comprehensive set of driverless technologies for application across a wide range of industries," Yandex said earlier.

"The driverless car incorporates Yandex’s own technologies some of which, such as mapping, real-time navigation, computer vision and object recognition, have been functioning in a range of the company’s services for years. The self-driving vehicle’s ability to ‘make decisions’ in complex environments, such as busy city traffic, is ensured by Yandex’s proprietary computing algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning," the company said.

Yandex.Taxi and Uber announced earlier that the companies agreed to combine their taxi businesses in Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan.

According to the report from Yandex, both Yandex.Taxi and Uber app will operate as before, driver apps, on the other hand, will be transitioned to a unified platform. "This combined driver platform will significantly increase the number of available cars, reduce passenger wait time, and boost vehicle utilization. Drivers will be able to perform more trips per hour while passengers will continue to enjoy affordable prices," the company said.

The new company will also operate the UberEATS service in the region.

Uber will invest $225 mln and Yandex will invest $100 mln into the joint venture, valuing it at $3.725 bln on a post-money basis. "On a pro forma basis, Yandex will own 59.3% of the merged company, Uber will own 36.6%, and employees will own 4.1%," Yandex said.

Yandex does not rule out the initial public offering (IPO) for the new Yandex.Taxi and Uber and company, Yandex press service told TASS. "We do not rule it out," the press service said.

The transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals and is scheduled to close in the Q4 2017.

The two teams will be integrated together and the current CEO of Yandex.Taxi Tigran Khudaverdyan, CEO of Yandex.Taxi, will serve as the CEO.

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