Uber Technologies Inc. and Yandex NV are planning to turn their self-driving car unit into a separate company. Ultimately, this will give Yandex more control over the business.
According to Bloomberg, Yandex is Russia’s largest internet company. It will be investing $150 million into the new self-driving division—Yandex Self-Driving Group BV. In addition to that, Yandex plans on purchasing part of Uber’s stake. This means the Moscow-based company will have 73% ownership of the division and Uber will have 19%. The rest will be reserved for the unit’s management.
The company will be known as MLU BV. It will include both ride-hailing options and food delivery. Currently, Yandex.Drive has approximately 16,000 cars across several Russian cities. As the two companies turn their autonomous vehicle unit into a third company, the number of available vehicles will increase.
Neither Uber nor Yandex has commented on the venture or the decisions being made regarding it. But Sergey Libin, analysis at Raiffeisenbank in Moscow, had this to say about the restructuring: “By spinning off self-driving business Yandex paves the way to attract external investors into it in the future.”
Because Yandex will have more control over the business, it will have more freedom to develop technology. This is particularly important when it comes to developing safety features, as a number of accidents have already happened involving self-driving vehicles.
With improved safety and detection technology in autonomous vehicles, it’s likely a number of accidents could be prevented. The vehicles need to be able to recognize what a dangerous situation is, predict potential outcomes, and react accordingly.
When it comes to proving liability with a crash involving two vehicles but only one human driver, the situation is complex. A thorough investigation needs to be conducted to determine what happened and why—especially in the event the human driver did nothing wrong at and before the moment of impact.
To learn more about the latest rideshare news, click here to visit our blog. In the event you’ve been involved in an accident with a self-driving rideshare vehicle, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for compensation to cover your economic and noneconomic losses. The Rideshare Law Group can evaluate your situation and help you determine how best to proceed based on your unique circumstances. Contact us today for more information.