Russia’s Sberbank inks contract with driverless car tech firm
State-owned Russian bank Sberbank has signed a legally binding contract with the AI-powered driverless car developer Cognitive Technologies to create a new company called Cognitive Pilot, Reuters reports.
Holding a 30% share of the company, the bank will give the rest of ownership to Cognitive. Financial details have not been revealed but are set to be agreed by the end of December 2019.
Cognitive’s founder Olga Uskova will lead the new project with Sberbank.
The two companies say their joint-venture will work on “digital economy projects in transport, agriculture, computer vision and artificial intelligence”.
Currently Russia’s driverless car market is monopolised by Yandex, a multinational internet firm which turned over $2.19 billion last year.
Yandex is already testing its driverless cars in Moscow and Israel. Next summer, the firm says it will begin testing in the US after securing an American licence.
This is not the first non-banking venture the Russian bank is embarking on this month. This November Sberbank also signed a contract with Russian internet company Mail.Ru to create a food delivery service, which involved the bank agreeing to buy an equity stake in the internet firm.