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Rimac set to debut fully autonomous 'Verne' robotaxi service

By Mathilda Bartholomew | June 25, 2024

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Rimac cars are mostly seen as taxis in Dubai, but the new driverless service, 'Verne,' aims to lead the autonomous taxi, or 'robotaxi,' industry.

Rimac set to debut fully autonomous 'Verne' robotaxi service

Grimy minicabs and overly chatty Uber drivers might soon be a thing of the past with the announcement of a new fully autonomous taxi service, backed by Mate Rimac, the founder of the renowned electric hypercar company.

Currently, Rimac cars as taxis are mostly seen in Dubai, but this new driverless service, named ‘Verne’, aims to lead the way in the autonomous taxi, or ‘robotaxi’, sector. Details will be unveiled tomorrow (June 26). For now, we know that Verne, named after the famous science fiction writer, will be led by Ignazio Morello, the former creative director of Saatchi and Saatchi, an ad agency that has worked with brands like Mercedes, Lexus, Toyota, and Renault.

Since Mate Rimac is just a supporter of this project, we don’t expect the Verne robotaxi to resemble the pricey Rimac Nevera supercar. However, it might feature some cool Jules Verne-inspired steampunk design elements to distinguish it from regular cars.

Verne's launch comes after the UK’s new Autonomous Vehicles Act, which shifts accident liability to the manufacturer or programmer, treating the driver as a ‘user-in-charge’. This law aims to facilitate the introduction of fully autonomous vehicles on UK roads by 2026.

At the moment, very few companies offer robotaxi services globally, and none operate in the UK. In December 2023, China finalised laws for autonomous vehicles, requiring robotaxis to have remote operators and autonomous buses to have an in-person driver for emergencies.

In the US, a company called Cruise is testing its autonomous taxi service, using modified Chevrolet Bolt EVs, in several Texas cities. Tesla is also expected to reveal its own robotaxi soon.

Would you trust an autonomous car on UK roads? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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