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27 July


Yandex.Auto to be fitted into more than 2 million Renault, Nissan and Lada cars

But Google trying to deploy connected-car software that works without a smartphone

Photo: Bloomberg

/NOVOSTIVL/ Russia’s transition to connected vehicles is looking increasingly homegrown after the country’s biggest car-making alliance handed control of its dashboards to local search engine Yandex NV. This article appeared in the Bloomberg.

The Renault-Nissan-AvtoVAZ partnership, which has about a third of the Russian market, will use Yandex in locally-made cars for services like real-time navigation, voice assistance and music. The pact also opens options to gain direct access to valuable car customer data, more than what Apple Inc. or Google apps obtain indirectly through smartphones.

"About 20 million Russians use our app to navigate through traffic jams, putting a phone on a window-mounted cradle," Roman Chernin, Yandex’s head of geolocation services, said in an interview. “So we sought to build it into the head unit.”

Yandex.Auto, the search engine’s infotainment system, will be fitted into more than 2 million Renault, Nissan and Lada cars in the next five years.

While Google is still working with automakers on deploying connected-car software that works without a smartphone, Yandex technology has been installed in about 100,000 connected cars sold in Russia since 2016, including models from Toyota Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and China’s Chery. Yandex also has deals with Volkswagen AG, Hyundai Motor Co. and Jaguar Land Rover.