Mate Rimac understands people. His new robotaxi company, Verne, launching in 2026, gives riders great control over their experience inside the autonomous vehicle in hopes that the more customers develop a “deeper the comfort and sense of ownership.”

The Verne robotaxi will do robotaxi things, getting you from A to B with the Mobileye Drive platform and Level 4 driving. But the company is building the experience around a ride-hailing app that’ll let riders set the vehicle’s temperature, sound, lighting, comfort level, and scent before it even arrives, making every ride with Verne the same every time, “even though the customer will never own the vehicle,” the company said in the announcement.

Verne Robotaxi

Verne’s unique shape comes from its cabin-first design. The company styled the car from the inside out, maximizing legroom, which the company claims is more than a Rolls-Royce. It only seats two because the company discovered that 90 percent of taxi rides consisted of just one or two people. It also has a trunk to carry even more stuff.

Passengers will sit in front of a 43-inch display that can play various entertainment or provide info about the ride. The vehicle lacks a steering wheel and pedals, but there is a physical switch between the seats that people can use to start and stop the ride. There’s also a touchscreen to control the in-vehicle systems.

A vital part of the company’s efforts will be its “Mothership,” a place that’ll service the vehicles daily where they’ll be recharged, inspected, and cleaned, giving riders comfort that they’re in a safe car. They will be built with materials designed for daily use and misuse.

Verne Robotaxi

Verne’s unique exterior hides the deeply integrated cameras, radars, LIDAR systems, and cleaning mechanisms. It also lacks things a driver would typically need in a vehicle, like windshield wipers and side-view mirrors, which makes cleaning it easier.

Verne will first hit the streets of Zagreb in 2026, Croatia, before expanding to the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Middle East. There are plans to expand worldwide, and the company is already building its first production facility in Croatia. The company is named after Jules Verne, author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Around the World in 80 Days. Soon, he’ll be taking you to the grocery store.

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Last Update: June 26, 2024