Yandex Self-Driving Meetup ‘21

Yandex Self-Driving Team
Sep 10 · 4 min read

Yandex SDG has been driving cutting-edge autonomous vehicle technologies since 2017. In our effort, we have always relied on the enormous talent of our engineers on the one hand, and the exchange of ideas among industry experts and enthusiasts on the other. To promote self-driving technology and advance free and open communication in the field, we have organized a meetup for specialists and other interested professionals, with the first Yandex Self-Driving Meetup gathering over a hundred of participants in May 2019.

This year, the Yandex Self-Driving Meetup ’21 will take place on Saturday, September 25, from 10 a.m. to 20 p.m., at the Yandex Self-Driving Engineering Center in Moscow. The meetup’s venue this year is at the heart of Yandex’s self-driving development — a center for research, assembly, testing, and servicing of the company’s self-driving vehicles.

The meetup participants will be able to meet the leading Yandex engineers working on technologies and solutions behind the company’s fleet of self-driving vehicles, including robo-taxis and delivery bots. Following the completion of a technology-related assignment based on the real-life problems solved by the Yandex Self-Driving Team every day, the participants will have an opportunity to join a series of talks on current problems and challenges in self-driving, visit interactive stands presenting various aspects of Yandex’s self-driving technology, ask questions, share ideas, discuss new trends, and take a ride in a self-driving car.

Talks

The meetup will start with a series of talks by members of Yandex’s engineering team working on the leading edge of self-driving technology. These talks have been prepared exclusively for this event and will not be recorded or published elsewhere.

From the talk by Head of Technology Anton Slesarev and Head of Product Pavel Vorobyov you will learn about the history and the basics of self-driving technology, including the details about its hardware, such as cameras, lidars, radars, and other sensors. The speakers will also talk about the future of self-driving technology, as they see it, and tell you about how they are going to get there.

Head of Scene Modelling Boris Yangel will speak about how self-driving cars predict the future and why they are doing this. You will find out why predicting the future is important, what challenges are associated with it and how Yandex engineers deal with these challenges.

Head of Dynamic Object Recognition Andrey Rykov and Lead Analyst Developer Mikhail Erofeev will tell the meetup participants about how self-driving vehicles recognize objects and track their trajectories, including analyzing their speed, acceleration, direction, and other characteristics.

The talk by Lead Analyst Developer Gleb Zarin and Infrastructure Developer Artur Rakhmatullin will be about using virtual reality for testing the self-driving technology. They will show how the VR simulator works and tell you about where the scenarios for virtual tests come from, and how pedestrians and cars in the simulator can be “animated”.

And, finally, Head of Localization Development Mikhail Korobkin will share the secrets of lidar localization. You will learn something that academic articles won’t tell you about. That is, how lidar localization works in practice. You will look at real-life situations in self-driving to see how theory applies to real operation.

Interactive stands

Following the talks, and after lunch, participants are invited to visit interactive stands where they will be guided around such aspects of Yandex’s self-driving technology, as hardware, Yandex proprietary lidars and the delivery robots. You will be able to ask any questions directly to the engineers working on the self-driving vehicle’s computing systems, networks, and sensors. You will also learn about how the company’s self-driving technology was adapted for a delivery robot and will try the robotic delivery service right at the meetup!

Autonomous ride

In addition to meeting the leading Yandex engineers and learning about the theory and practice of self-driving, the meetup participants will be able to take a ride in a self-driving vehicle along a specially prepared complex route that goes through large junctions, takes turns, and changes lanes on a busy motorway. See the technology in action with your own eyes!

Networking

The Yandex Self-Driving Meetup is also an excellent opportunity to meet new people, share ideas, ask questions, and talk about anything you’re passionate about in a relaxed and informal setting.

Joining the meetup

To provide direct and personal experience for all participants in the Yandex Self-Driving Meetup ’21, we have to ask you to complete a task. Please fill out this form to receive an assignment, which must be completed within 72 hours once you’ve started working on it and submitted at any time before September 15. The 80 best solutions will be chosen on September 17 and their authors will receive a personal invite to the meetup.

The assignment that you will receive is similar to the problems solved by the Yandex Self-Driving Team on a daily basis. It is related to implementing self-driving technology in a given city and does not have the right or wrong solution, but the result must instead provide a certain level of quality.

We wish you the best of luck and hope to see you at the Yandex Self-Driving Meetup ’21!

Yandex Self-Driving Group

Let us do the driving.