Hyundai is in the last stages of closing a deal with Russian technology company Yandex to co-developed the software and hardware needed for autonomous car systems.
The MoU (memorandum of understanding) signed by Hyundai and Yandex includes work with Hyundai Mobis, the South Korean automaker’s OEM parts and service division. The two companies plan “to create a self-driving platform that can be used by any car manufacturer or taxi fleet.”
Tech Crunch reports that Hyundai Mobis supplies Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis with vehicle parts, which means that, even though Hyundai Mobis also supplies other automakers with parts, those three will likely be the first to benefit from the partnership.
“This is our first partnership, and a clear validation of the intensive development of our self-driving platform. We have already performed thousands of rides in our autonomous taxi service fulfilled without a driver in the driver’s seat,” Dmitry Polishchuk, head of Yandex’s self-driving car efforts, said.
Much like Google, Yandex established itself as a search engine but has since expanded into a diverse number of areas, including mapping and ride-sharing services. The company also operates Yandex.Taxi, a ride-hailing service across 15 countries throughout Europe, including Finland, Estonia and Russia.
“It took us just two years to go from the first basic tests to a full-fledged public robotaxi service. Now, thanks to our agreement with Hyundai Mobis, we will be able to move even faster,” Yandex chief executive Arkady Volozh commented.
Hyundai has invested heavily in a number of technology companies to aid in the development of electric and autonomous technologies. Most recently, it sunk $300 million in Indian ride-sharing startup Ola.