Hypercar Company Reveals Self-Driving Taxi to Take on Tesla

Rimac takes the wraps off a new two-seater electric hatchback that promises Level 4 automated functionality

Graham Hope

June 27, 2024

4 Min Read
Rimac's self-driving taxi with doors and windows open.

The automaker that delivered the world’s fastest electric hypercar has revealed the autonomous vehicle it believes can shake up the world of self-driving taxis.

Croatia’s Rimac, which unleashed the 256 mph Nevera in 2022, has now turned its focus to robotaxis and has taken the wraps off a new two-seater electric hatchback that promises Level 4 automated functionality, as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers.


It will be marketed under the brand name Verne, a nod to the famous French novelist and poet Jules Verne who was known as the “man who invented the future,” with first deployments targeted for 2026.

Although that is still two years away, the early unveil is probably no accident given that Rimac founder Mate Rimac has emerged as one of the auto industry’s great showmen and was undoubtedly keen to capture attention with his self-driving taxi before Elan Musk shows off Tesla’s Cybercab on August 8.

Verne, which was previously known as Project 3 Mobility, says its self-driving taxi is designed to carry people around cities in comfort and it has a clear focus on interior space and entertainment.

There’s claimed to be more room than in a Rolls-Royce, while access is made easy by sliding doors. And although the hatch does without conventional elements such as a steering wheel, pedals or even a dashboard, there is a 43-inch-wide display that allows passengers to watch movies, plus 17 speakers for high-end audio quality.

Related:Hypercar Maker to Introduce Self-Driving Taxi


Explaining the decision to include only two seats, Adriano Mudri, chief design officer, said: “[It’s] because the data shows that nine out of 10 rides are used by one or two people. Therefore, we can satisfy most trips with a two-seater and create unmatched interior space in a compact-sized vehicle.”

The automated functionality is provided via Israeli company Mobileye’s autonomous driving platform Mobileye Drive and a suite of sensors that incorporates cameras, radar and lidar.

According to Verne, the AV is built on a platform that is flexible and scalable, hinting that regional variations may be feasible. This will allow it to be used in a variety of locations, on different road surfaces and under varying weather conditions, within, of course, its operational design domains – key for an extended roll-out. 

Initially, though, the focus is on Rimac’s home market of Croatia, with the capital Zagreb – where the vehicle will be built – lined up for the launch of Verne’s self-driving taxi service in 2026. Other European cities (in Germany and the U.K. initially) will follow soon after.

Related:Musk Says Tesla Self-Driving Taxi Coming in August

Rimac says Verne will also operate in the Middle East and is currently negotiating with more than 30 cities globally who want to become partners.

Ordering the taxi will be done via app, as do other ride-hailing services, but Rimac says each ride can be personalized, with customers able to specify the temperature in the cabin and even the interior scent.

In addition, in each location Verne launches, the taxi service will be accompanied by an operations hub called the Mothership. Marko Pejkovic, CEO of Verne, explained that this is where the vehicles will “get inspected daily, get maintained daily, get cleaned daily, and get charged so that they are always safe, clean and ready”.

Ultimately, the aim is for Verne to revolutionize the self-driving car market, as Mate Rimac acknowledged. He said: “Every customer will have a better service than the best mobility service enjoyed by the very rich, through the service that is affordable for all. 

“You will have a safe and reliable driver, a vehicle with more interior space and comfort than the best limousines today, and a service that will be tailored to your needs in every possible way. We are shifting the attention from the technology itself to its benefits.”

About the Author(s)

Graham Hope

Graham Hope has worked in automotive journalism in the U.K. for 26 years, including spells as editor of leading consumer news website and weekly Auto Express and respected buying guide CarBuyer.

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