Russia To Road-Test Driverless Vehicles 2021-2024

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  • Much remains to be done to introduce driverless vehicles with issues such as cryptosecurity,  A.I brains and user training 
  • Technology needs a decade to adapt to mass usage 

The Russian government has approved a set of measures for the phased commissioning of unmanned vehicles without a test engineer in the driving seat. Testing on public roads will begin in 2021, the Ministry of Transport has said.

The measures provide for the pilot commercial operation of highly automated vehicles in individual constituent entities of Russia, the statement said. The measures will allow, in the period from 2021 to 2024, to create the necessary legal conditions for introduction of such vehicles to the transport complex, the ministry added.

“Adoption of this document underlines the government’s intention to develop regulation for autonomous transport and create conditions for active development of the industry.”

Immediate radical changes however are unlikely, with Cognitive Pilot’s CEO Olga Uskova stating in interviews that “This market will be forming for at least 10 years. Everything in Russia is connected with the legislation and a very complex system of changes in traffic rules, insurance, and so on. We can see this from the dynamics in different countries, the dynamics are sluggish, there’s a lot to do. In addition, there are discussions about the new concept of urban transport: it’s still unclear whether personal transport will remain in principle, how much it will be replaced by taxis or car sharing.

This is all related to the inclusion of artificial ‘brains’ in the list of products that should be given preferences for Russian development companies. This is a new type of product, we need regulation and certification of artificial intelligence technologies,” she explained.

In addition, unmanned vehicles require training ranges, including free ones. “We spend quite a lot on renting training ranges in different places around the world, and the creation of Russian training ranges, especially free ones, would be significant support for young businesses,” Uskova said. “Another important thing that we recommend to the authorities is to develop virtual training ranges, where Russian artificial ‘brains’ could train. Such services are too expensive to buy for startups themselves.”

Another block of issues that no one has yet approached, is the cryptographic protection of highly intelligent systems, she added. “Now it is necessary to include the state and subsidizing here, because it is a serious security issue.” Uskova said.

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