Yandex is operating a self-driving car in Las Vegas with just a safety engineer in the front passenger seat (NVO Mode).  The company will be providing demonstration rides of its self-driving car on the public streets of Las Vegas starting from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino during CES 2019.

To prepare for CES, the team acquired a car locally and retrofitted it with the necessary sensors and hardware for self-driving operation. The team then used Yandex’s mapping technologies to build a custom HD map of the neighborhood around the hotel. Yandex’s proprietary self-driving software stack was then localized and optimized to the driving conditions of Las Vegas. The transformation of both the car and the software was completed in only one month. The route tests the Yandex self-driving car against unprotected left-hand turns, pedestrians, and busy traffic with speeds up to 45 mph.

Las Vegas was the first test location outside of Russia for Yandex’s self-driving car unit, and in addition to the CES demo, Yandex recently announced it is expanding its self-driving tests to Israel.