Express delivery of groceries and household goods to people’s homes in less than 15 minutes after placing an order launches in summer. Yandex.Lavka has a network of storehouses across the city with couriers delivering orders to the addresses in the closest vicinity of each storehouse. The service is available at eda.yandex.ru or through the Yandex.Eats and Yandex.Taxi apps.
Smart home and Yandex.Station Mini
Yandex launches Russia’s first smart home ecosystem powered by Alice. The smart system lets customers control dozens of household devices, from light bulbs and coffee makers to air conditioners and TVs, through the intelligent voice assistant. Alice can turn on the light, boil the kettle, start the vacuum cleaner or operate other connected devices. In addition to the smart home, Yandex releases a number of other smart devices — the Smart Bulb, the Smart Plug and the Smart Remote Control. Another smart speaker with Alice — Yandex.Station Mini, which can be controlled with voice and gestures — is also released this year.
Yandex introduces a major search update. The new search algorithm, which has improved accuracy and speed, takes into account assessor signal and uses input from experts on Yandex.Q, a Q&A service acquired by the company that year. These improvements let people solve hyperlocal tasks in a specific neighborhood, urban block or even a building. The Vega update combines over fifteen hundred improvements that happened over the course of that year.
Yandex makes a significant advancement in driverless technology by road testing an autonomous delivery robot for small-size cargos and testing lidars developed in-house. Named due to its semblance after the lunar Rover, Yandex’s delivery robot is about half a meter high and can drive along sidewalks at a walking speed. Lidars are highly sensitive sensors for self-driving cars that scan space around the vehicle with laser beams and create a three-dimensional picture of the environment.
Yandex’s Educational Initiative launches in September with the company announcing a five-billion-ruble investment in training 100,000 specialists for the IT sector over the course of three years. At this point in time, Yandex has already founded or supported about 30 educational projects. This year, the company launches the educational platform Yandex.Practicum and a laboratory at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. In January, Yandex starts the Ilya Segalovich scientific award, created to support young researchers and the scientific community.