Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX) will operate its driverless vehicle in the public streets of Las Vegas during the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). A safety engineer will be in the front passenger seat in case of any complications during the process.
The company will thrill observers with a ride of its autonomous vehicle within the marked streets surrounding the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino during the event.
The making of the demo self-driving model
In preparation for the CES demonstration, the company procured a vehicle locally and equipped it with the necessary gadgets and software for the self-driving operation.
Using the company’s in-house mapping technologies; the developing team was able to build a tailored HHD map of the hotel’s surroundings.
The team then updated Yandex’s signature self-driving software with Las Vegas’ driving conditions- everything the vehicle will need to cruise safely within the streets.
The whole process of prepping the vehicle was completed in a month. The demonstration will test Yandex’s autonomous vehicles against some objectives including unprotected left-hand turns, pedestrians, and busy traffic among others. The vehicle will travel at approximately 45 miles per hour (mph).
The Las Vegas test drive becomes the first test location outside Moscow for the company’s self-driving vehicle.
After the CES demonstration, Yandex plans to carry out further tests in Israel. Speaking regarding the CES, Dmitry Polishchuk, Head of the company’s self-driving unit said that,
“After first building and testing vehicles in Moscow, the world’s second most congested city, and launching a successful robo-taxi program that is operating throughout the winter in two cities, coming to CES was a great opportunity to test our technology’s scalability and flexibility in a new environment.”
Yandex made its debut to the driverless technology space in 2017. The company leverages on its cutting edge machine learning, navigation sensors, precise mapping expertise, and cloud technologies.
As of May 2017, Yandex unveiled its preliminary model. Today the company has advanced dramatically- testing self-driving cars against all weather conditions across three countries.
The company currently operates robo-taxi services in 2 Russian cities. The robo-taxi service has reached a milestone of 2,000 passenger rides with just a safety engineer aboard.
Yandex’s stock performance
Yandex has been doing well in the stock market since its 2011 debut. The company listed on NASDAQ raised a surprising $1.3 billion during its IPO representing surprise factor of 19%. Yandex sold about 52 million shares for $25 each.
The company has since strived to stay above its IPO price. As of the most recent trading session the shares closed at $29.78 representing a 2.37% from the opening price of $29.16. The shares traded to a high and low of $29.90 and $29.07 respectively.
Further success in the company’s operations especially the self-driving unit is set to incite the stock’s surge to probably close at the 52-week high of $44.49.
Yandex’s remarkable financials
Yandex is one company that prides a healthy balance sheet judging from its previous quarterly reports. For the Q3 2018, the company’s consolidated revenue surged 39% year over year to $496.6 million.
Net income for the fiscal period ballooned 459% compared to the same period the year before to $72.7 million. The company still leads the Russian search market at about 55.9%. The number of rides covered by the company’s robo-taxi services increased by about 131% YoY.
This is Yandex’s position before revenue from the self-driving unit kicks in. Upon commercialization of the self-driving vehicles, revenue is expected to increase exponentially. The company credits the revenue growth to the successful unveiling of new offerings in the market for all its affiliate business units.