Yango, an digital e-hailing app currently operating in 16 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, was launched in Bucharest on Thursday. Romania is the fifth EU country where the service is available, after Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland. Yango is part of the Russian Yandex Group, one of the largest IT companies in Europe, also known as “the Google of Russia”.
The company says that the new service offers affordable rides and quality services. Rides ordered through the app start at the discounted price of RON 5, which includes the car reservation, a 3 km distance and a duration of 7 minutes.
For example, a ride from Drumul Taberei to the Old Center will cost about RON 10, while a trip from the Muncii Square to Pipera will be around RON 11.5. Yango customers will be able to go from Otopeni Airport to the center of Bucharest (University Square) for about RON 35. Payments are currently only available through an in-app bank card.
Unlike its competitors, Yango uses its own mapping, targeting and navigation system, as well as intelligent command distribution based on Machine Learning technologies. These features, the company claims, make it possible to significantly reduce net travel costs so that users pay less for a ride while drivers can earn more.
“Recently, the urban transport market in Romania has significantly lowered quality standards for customer experiences. As a first step before the official launch, our team held a series of training sessions for partner drivers, where they were trained on service specifications, how to communicate with passengers and other important issues.
In addition to very affordable prices, Yango excels in technology – our main competitive advantage. Our company has developed a number of advanced technologies that automatically check the car and the way it is driven, which we plan to bring to Romania as soon as possible. We believe our users will appreciate our unique features like ordering a car for another person such as a parent or friend, booking multiple cars from a single phone, and more,” says Andrei Voicu, Director Regional Yango for Romania and the Republic of Moldova.
When users set the destination point while ordering a car, the app will display the exact price for the ride. This price will not change during the trip, even if the car is stuck in traffic or the driver has to follow a bypass route.
Yango does not have its own cars or drivers. It works with local partners – transport companies. With the launch of the app, a dedicated driver’s center was recently opened by a Yango partner in Bucharest. Here, drivers can familiarise themselves with the app, participate in training sessions and tests, find answers to questions, or get some rest.
As an additional method of quality control, similarly to other e-hailing services, Yango allows users to rate each trip and send suggestions or complaints to the support service, which is available 24/7. Best rated drivers get more orders, while drivers with low ratings will receive fewer rides or may even be denied access to the service if their rating is very low (temporarily or permanently).
“Yandex was launched 22 years ago as a web search engine and is now an international group of companies offering around 90 services, world-class technologies in the field of Big Data and Machine Learning, and holds the largest network of data centers in Europe (over 100,000 servers), one of the best known being Finland. We will use our own Yandex cartography technologies in our application, and we think this will help us optimize our algorithms better than other companies can.
Continuing on the theme of developed proprietary technology – Yandex is among the very few companies in the world that are actually using the technology of self-driving cars. Our autonomous cars have already been launched on public roads in several countries and we are anxious to launch these vehicles in Romania one day,” said Musheg Sahakian, Yango Global Extension Director.