Rimac’s Groundbreaking Transition: Supercars to Autonomous Robotaxis by 2026

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Rimac (Credits: The Verge)

Rimac, the Croatian supercar manufacturer, has made a remarkable transformation in the electric vehicle (EV) industry. Thanks to a significant investment from Porsche in 2021, Rimac collaborated with Bugatti to create a hypercar. Now, the company is expanding beyond high-performance vehicles and is set to unveil an autonomous “robotaxi” this year, with plans for it to hit the roads by 2026, according to Autocar.

The self-driving shuttle, known as Project 3 Mobility, is backed by Kia, which initially invested around $90 million in Rimac in 2019, along with Hyundai. Unlike Rimac’s supercar business or the Bugatti brand, the Project 3 vehicle will operate as a separate brand under the Rimac Group umbrella. The development is taking place in Zagreb, Croatia, near Rimac’s headquarters, with approximately 100 research and development engineers working from a new facility in the United Kingdom.

While specific details are limited, Mate Rimac, the founder and CEO, stated that the robotaxi aims to impact a wider audience compared to their earlier high-performance vehicles. The vehicle is expected to operate fully autonomously, representing a new category of transportation. Recent sightings of testing involving the Renault Espace minivan suggest that the robotaxi may have a spacious, pod-like design to maximize interior capacity.

In addition to the robotaxi, Rimac plans to establish an infrastructure network consisting of chargers, storage hubs, and parking spaces. The mobility service, set to launch in 2026, is described as premium but not “expensive or posh.” The company intends to build a dedicated factory for the robotaxi, initially in Croatia, with future plans for expansion and exporting tens of thousands of units annually.

Autocar reports ongoing discussions between Rimac and 20 cities in Europe and the Middle East for the robotaxi service. The pilot program is scheduled for Zagreb, starting operations in 2026, with subsequent launches in Germany and the U.K. the following year. Unlike General Motor’s Cruise division, which has faced setbacks in the United States, Rimac seems to prioritize European and Middle Eastern markets for their autonomous mobility service. More details are expected to be revealed later this year as Rimac’s ambitious venture unfolds.


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