How transport technologies are changing Moscow
Intelligent transport system (ITS) is actively developing in the capital, and includes trams with satellite navigation, electric buses; reportedly self driving taxis including flying ones are on the way. The future, which recently was possible to see only in science fiction films, is becoming a reality. How does the introduction of new technologies change the face of Moscow and the inhabitants of the metropolis?

Intelligent Transport System (ITS)

ITS is an urban system that is designed to decrees traffic on capital’s roads and improve road safety using innovative technologies. ITS has been operating since 2011 and is already bringing significant results. Smart traffic lights, automatic registration of traffic violations, dedicated lanes for public transport, notification of motorists about road conditions and free parking spaces, online monitoring of public transport - all this is included in the ITS structure.

Today, more than 2.6 thousand intersections in Moscow are regulated by traffic lights with an adaptive control mode. This means that with the help of sensors installed above the road, data about the traffic situation is monitored and the traffic light switches on/off automatically depending on the presence or absence of traffic jams on this section of the road, accident and other factors. The situation on the roads is monitored using more than 2 thousand cameras and 3.7 thousand detectors.

As a result of the introduction of ITS, the situation on the roads of Moscow is changing for the better. Accident rates significantly decreased, compared with 2010, the number of accidents decreased by almost 50% (by 1.9% in 2017). Despite the increased number of cars (+100,000) and large-scale improvement of the city “My Street”, traffic congestion also decreased by 3.8% over the past year.


Fr om September 2017, silent low-floor trams with telematics, air conditioners and with validators instead of turnstiles run in Moscow. They already operate on seven routes.

This is Vityaz M produced by Tver Carriage Works

Each wagon seats 260 people. The cars have satellite navigation, video surveillance cameras and an air conditioning system. Satellite navigation helps to track the movement of the tram in real time through mobile applications, for example, Yandex.Transport, which also indicates the time of its arrival at the stop. This is convenient, since you should not to be out in the cold in winter at the bus stop, but come directly to the arrival of the tram.

About Yandex Transport App

Trams are virtually silent thanks to the design of a wheeled trolley. The autonomous range of the tram is 1.5 thousand meters. With a power outage, this will allow transport to be taken fr om the site where it interferes with traffic. By the end of 2019, there will be 300 Vityaz-M trams in the capital.

Electric buses

During 2018, 300 eco-friendly electric buses should run in Moscow. The city authorities have already announced a tender for their supply, and one of the main conditions is the Russian localization of production. According to the terms of reference, innovative urban transport should be not only environmentally friendly, but also high-tech. Satellite navigation, climate control, video surveillance systems, USB-connectors for charging mobile devices, Wi-Fi - this is only part of the equipment of the electric buses, which will make traveling in them not only environmentally friendly, but also comfortable and safe for passengers.


Trips around the city became more accessible and more convenient thanks to the mobile taxi services such as Uber, Gett and Yandex Taxi. Now taxi is a convenient and inexpensive transport that often replaces not only the metro, but also your own car. People call a taxi to get fr om the supermarket to the house with groceries, to catch a meeting, to the doctor or to a concert, especially if you need to go to the city center.

Services combine small taxi fleets and private owners, connect them to applications, which, using algorithms, calculate the optimal routes, look for customers close to the place of their destination and thus save time and money for both driver and passenger.

Yandex.Taxi offers to call a taxi not to wh ere you are, but to walk a few meters wh ere it is easier to pick passenger to get faster and cheaper service. This saves time for both the driver and the passenger.

According to the press service of the Department of Transport, Moscow has become the third cheapest city for taxi services in the world. According to the study the cheaper is only Cairo and Bangkok (international Taxi Price Index 2017). The study was conducted by the British online service Carspring which is engage in sale and rental of used cars. The study is based on the average check per kilometer of trip within the city, which in the Russian capital amounts 15 rubles.

The next stage is self driving taxis. Specialists from the Moscow Department of Transportation say this will happen in the next 10 years. The first taxis without drivers are already operating in Singapore and Pittsburgh.

Since August, the first testing ground for driverless vehicles has been operating in Moscow; on a 400-meter-long track, they have completely tried to reproduce the urban environment, there are bus stops, road signs, markings, pedestrian crossings and roundabouts. The role of pedestrians on the zebra is performed by the employees of the Technopark Caliber, in whose territory the landfill is located.

At this time, Yandex is looking for a partner to develop a semi-autonomous vehicle control system and creates, in partnership with Kamaz, artificial intelligence-based services for trucks.

Car sharing

In addition to updating and changing public transport schemes, the Moscow Administration encourages the development of car sharing services.

Car sharing is a short-term car rental with a per-minute or hourly rate for city trips. The convenience is that the car can be left at any company parking lot, and not returned to the same place wh ere it was taken.

In 2017, five companies operate in the capital: YouDrive, Delimobil, Anytime, Car5 and BelkaCar. In February 2018, it is planned to launch the sixth car-sharing service - Yandex.Drive.

The general car-sharing park - 2 650 cars. Every day, each car is rented on an average of eight times. According to the dynamics of the growth of the car-sharing fleet, Moscow is the first in the world. In 2017, 600 thousand people were registered in the system, of which 350,000 regularly take cars. Since 2015, the number of trips has increased from 35,000 to 2,400,000 per year.


As the transport image of the city changes, Moscow residents rethink their attitude to the car ownership and how to move around the city. Some abandon idea having a car, as the city provides many cheap and convenient opportunities to replace it: rental cars, taxis, public transport.

But most of Moscow residents still prefer to combine using public transport and taxi with a private car: some, for example, prefer to use public transport or taxi to the office and city centre and own car for the trips to dacha or to the countryside. Using your own car can be beneficial because it is possible to save up to 50% on comprehensive insurance if you install a telematics device in the car such as the Element system from Smart Driving Laboratory, which will evaluate the driver’s behavior on road and monitor compliance with the insurance agreement. All these factors lead to a change in the image of the city and transport infrastructure. There are fewer cars used more efficiently, and therefore Moscow is becoming more convenient for residents and it’s visitors.