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Yandex announce the launch of Europe's first autonomous taxi service this week

Russian tech giants Yandex have launched Europe's first autonomous taxi service this week. 

Known as the "Russian Google", Yandex said in a blogpost that they were "thrilled" to announce the launch of self-driving taxis in Innopolis, Russia. 

They are now offering free rides in the university city and say they are "not only excited to help users safely and efficiently navigate to destinations", but say they also believe it will help the public adopt driverless technology and the future of transportation. 

Passengers can order a taxi to take them to a number of set destinations such as the university, residential blocks, the stadium and the local business centre. 

Yandex said they will first operate self-driving vehicles which will have safety engineers present in the passenger seat throughout all journeys to start with. 

It then plans to to later expand its autonomous taxi service to include more destinations, additional vehicles and eventually removing the safety engineer. 

They hope to use customer feedback to improve the service. 

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