The question is no longer if we will all ride around in self-driving cars in the future, the when. And society just took one very important—and snowy—step closer to that day, after a Russian company’s autonomous cars safely navigated the city streets of Moscow after a storm.
This video, which came across at The Verge, shows the Russian technology company Yandex’s self-driving car dealing with less than ideal weather conditions; in fact, this was the company’s first time sending its prototype Taxi out into the real world after it started conducting winter tests on a closed course late last year. This “advanced test” required the Taxi to deal “with traffic, pedestrians, parked vehicles, and other road hazards on snowy and icy streets,” not to mention light precipitation during the drive, which took place when it was -6 Celsius (21 Fahrenheit)—conditions no human driver would ever want to deal with.
As the company noted in its blog post about the drive, “navigating snow-covered city streets requires significant amounts of data including images of both the snowy roads and street signs,” and Moscow offered an ideal testing ground thanks to “high traffic volumes and diverse weather and seasonal changes.”
It should be noted that Yandex happens to also be the largest internet search engine in Russia, which means they are Google’s direct competitor in another field. But the good news is that in this war for autonomous car supremacy everyone will win when the day comes when self-driving cars makes hitting the road safer for all of us, no matter how bad the weather.
What real world test do you want to see a self-driving car achieve next? Tell us in the comments below.
Featured Image: Yandex
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