LAS VEGAS — Inside the parking garage at the Hard Rock Cafe, one of the human safety drivers from Russian self-driving tech company Yandex opens the car door and climbs aboard the Prius V for a quick ride around the city.
Today, he's riding shotgun.
Showcases of autonomous-driving technology have become so commonplace at CES in recent years that they've become almost ho-hum affairs. But Yandex added a fresh twist this time, removing its human safety drivers from behind the wheel and placing them in the passenger seat instead. Without any human behind the wheel, Yandex rolled two vehicles onto public roads and delivered a week's worth of uneventful rides through Las Vegas' traffic-clogged arterial four-lane roadways.