MOSCOW -- Internet company Yandex is offering citizens of a remote Russian city free rides with self-driving cars as it seeks to convince the government in Moscow that autonomous vehicles are safe and indispensable for future transportation.
Yandex.Taxi runs two driverless vehicles in Innopolis, a city of 3,000 people, 700 kilometers (435 miles) east of the capital. With an engineer in the passenger seat, locals ride to and from residential areas and the business center, university or sports stadium.
Automakers and technology companies alike are working toward a future where autonomous robotaxis will lessen the need for individual vehicle ownership. Companies including Uber, Tesla and Alphabet have been touting self-driving cars as they race to upend the industry.
Alphabet's Waymo is expanding its self-driving car operations in Arizona in preparation for its first public ride-service, which will start in the state later this year.