The fastest-growing city in Europe
Moscow hardly can come to your mind when thinking about the city of Hitech and innovations. However, the growing economy and interest of foreign investment in the last 10 years catalyzed the progress and made Moscow the top city of the future in Eastern Europe and №6 among all European cities in 2018. Some of the technological achievements can be easily called the best in the world especially in the field of transport!
Innovations in the Metro
The Moscow metropolitan system built-in 1936 still stays one of the wonders of Moscow’s life.
When living in a city with 2,511 km² the quality of public transport plays a crucial role in your life. When people commute daily from one suburb to another, they want to sacrifice as little time as possible. In rush hours the waiting time of the train is less than 90sec. There is highspeed WI-FI in the metro and Muscovites can literally watch movies and play videogames while traveling to work. By the way, Moscow is in the third position worldwide in the number of free WI-FI hotspots. In this regard, Moscow outran New-York, London and Tokyo. At the same time, Moscovites enjoy the most accessible mobile internet in the world if considering both the speed and price.
One more incredible know-how in the metro is a ceramic NFC ring that you can use for paying public transport. It can be topped up as Troika card and works through under a glove. The ring looks fashionable by today’s fashion standards; it can be a great souvenir to bring from Moscow. Some disadvantages typical for a stylish garment are that the ring costs as much as 2 thousand rubles and it’s not completely waterproof.
Super convenient transport apps
There is a useful mobile application for Moscow visitors who can’t afford being late (e.g. for the start of the tour or the night in Bolshoi theatre)- Yandex. Transport. The app can create an optimal route for traveling from your hotel to your destination goal. It supports driving, walking and public transportations options and takes into account up-to-date situations on the roads. You can literally track your bus live on a road and come to a bus stop at the right moment before it arrives. A similar app called Yandex Metro can make your underground ride simple and efficient: just point where you want to go, the app will find the optimized route and show the time of your trip. After the app was implemented in the everyday life of Moscoviets, the waiting time of a bus went down to 8-10 min and became one of the shortest in the world.
Unmanned taxi – already on Moscow streets!
Last year Yandex company (yesss… again Yandex!) held the first experiment of letting out a robotic taxi on the streets of Moscow. After that, a robo-car was trained to cover the distance from Moscow to Kazan, which it did in an autonomous mode 99% of the travel. It was not the first try out for self-driving cars in the world, and taxis here don’t fly even if enchanted. However, it’s a big leap to the stage where any tourist or a local will be able to order an unmanned taxi in Moscow.
Artificial intelligence is less prompted to break the rules or run an extra mile to increase the check. Obviously, there are downsides to widespread robotic cars in the city. For example, cars can’t solve ethical dilemmas and they choose a scenario out of the options they encountered whilst life is more unpredictable than a flying broomstick.
Anyway, the plan is to free the cars into commercial use not earlier than in 2023. Meanwhile Yandex. Taxi run tests and do research. They need to ensure that when Moscow faces the innovation, these other-worldly participants of the traffic have the safety instructions, some intelligence and a constantly updating map of the city pre-installed into their brain.
Carsharing boom in Moscow
Carsharing concept coming from Europe to Russia quickly became a popular public transport. In 2020 Moscow has the largest fleet of shared cars in the world (30000) overtaking such cities as New York, Tokio and Beijing. The reason why carsharing skyrocketed within 3 years is intensive investments and financial support from the Moscow administration. Instead of buying private cars, the growing generation prefers using carsharing, especially when it comes so cheap and convenient as in Moscow. No need to spend money on tech support, insurance, gasoline, and parking! The average price of 1 min of use is 10 rub, depending on the class of the vehicle. 3 top market players: Belka car, Delimobil, and Yandex drive try to conquer the audience. Belkacar give access to the foreigners, Delimobil has the cheapest tariffs starting from 4rub/min, and Yandex drive calculates the time of walk to the nearest car and gives this time for free.
The last but not the least is the bike rental service in the city. It works on the same principle as any city bikes services in Europe. Scooter sharing service also became viral in the last years. If you wish to explore the city on a bike in summer, a great option is to take our Moscow by Bike tour and learn about the transportation system of Moscow in practice!
written by Natalia Motorina