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Rimac is launching a ride-share service for self-driving cars. Here’s what we know.

Mate Rimac, founder and CEO of the Rimac Group and CEO of Bugatti, had just unveiled the new $4.1 million Bugatti Tourbillon at the brand’s French chateau when he returned to his native Croatia to unveil a very different car. As it turns out, his second unveiling in a week is arguably even more exclusive. After all, few will ever own a Bugatti Tourbillon, but no one will ever own a Verne.

Rimac’s latest project is a driverless ride-hailing service based on a handsome two-seat, two-door coupe designed by Adriano Mudri, who also designed the Rimac Nevera electric hypercar. The goal is to offer what Mudri describes as “Rolls-Royce” comfort and interior space, while competing on price with human-driven Ubers.

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An example of an autonomous vehicle from Verne.An example of an autonomous vehicle from Verne.

An example of the autonomous model that Verne’s fleet will consist of.

The service will launch first in Zagreb in 2026, followed by Manchester in the UK and later in another nine international cities – all with signed contracts. More than thirty other metropolises are also reportedly in advanced negotiations to host the app, named after French novelist and futurist Jules Verne.

“Billionaires experience mobility very differently,” says 36-year-old Rimac. “They have a luxury car and a chauffeur who maintains it, cleans it and sets it up the way the owner wants. The chauffeur drives safely and the owner arrives at the right place at the right time. Most people don’t have this experience, but we want to make it possible for everyone, at the price of a regular chauffeur service.”

The interior of an autonomous car from Verne's ride-sharing fleet.The interior of an autonomous car from Verne's ride-sharing fleet.

The interior of each car will feature a 43-inch screen – for movies or games – and a 17-speaker audio system.

The Verne is an attractive car, but even though it’s freed from the constraints of a conventional vehicle, it still looks like you could drive it yourself. It has a steep windscreen that extends to the nose, but it doesn’t need wipers or wing mirrors. There’s a conventional boot for trips to the airport, and the double sliding doors are designed so that other road users aren’t inconvenienced when you get in or out at the side of the road.

These doors open automatically to reveal an interior that offers the ambience of a first-class aircraft cabin. The carefully selected materials look and feel high-quality, but can withstand the rigors of 24-hour operation. The reclining seats have an extendable calf support, and even when you’re stretched out, there’s still room for shopping bags or personal items you might not want to put in the trunk. There’s also a 43-inch screen for watching movies, playing games or tracking your journey.

The interior of an autonomous car from Verne's ride-sharing fleet.The interior of an autonomous car from Verne's ride-sharing fleet.

The reclining seats have an extendable calf support.

Since there is no human driver, you can set the 17-speaker audio system as loud as you like and even choose the scent for the cabin. All of your preferences are saved in the app and delivered to the car, so you feel right at home when you arrive. There is also a “Keep” feature that lets you retain the vehicle’s services while you run errands.

Although Rimac has worked on autonomous driving software before, it chose to partner with Mobileye for the Verne project. The Israeli company was bought by Intel in 2017 for more than $15 billion and its autonomous driving technology has already proven itself. Rimac Group owns 47 percent of Verne, which has other investors including Hyundai and the Saudi government. Rimac will own the company’s entire business operations as Verne expands, including the vehicle fleet and the “mothership” building where the vehicles return for cleaning and charging. Rimac will build the cars at a new factory in Zagreb.

An example of an autonomous vehicle from Verne.An example of an autonomous vehicle from Verne.

Rimac has teamed up with Israeli company Mobileye to develop self-driving technology.

But can Rimac really overtake the autonomous driving projects of tech giants like Google and Amazon? Rimac’s CEO Anthony Sheriff is confident, pointing to the company’s ability to “do unreasonable things.” How does this debut compare to Bugatti’s Tourbillon? Sherriff’s vote goes to Verne: “I think in 30 years people will look back on this event as more significant in the history of the automobile.”

Click here to see more photos of Verne, the autonomous ride-sharing service.

A representation of a fleet of vehicles from Verne, an autonomous ride-sharing service scheduled to begin operations in 2026.A representation of a fleet of vehicles from Verne, an autonomous ride-sharing service scheduled to begin operations in 2026.

A representation of a fleet of vehicles from Verne, an autonomous ride-sharing service scheduled to begin operations in 2026.

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