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Rimac boss hatches ‘mothership’ city mobility plan with P3 Mobility autonomous car firm

P3 Mobility is taking a clean-sheet approach to the development of autonomous cars for ‘democratised city mobility’ and plans to hit the UK in 2027.

Rimac Nevera EV hypercar - Dynamic front 3/4

A mobility firm backed by Mate Rimac, CEO of hypercar manufacturer Rimac, is pledging to steal a march in the autonomous vehicle sector when it reveals its first car on 26 June. 

P3 Mobility is already testing in Zagreb, and is aiming to land large numbers of autonomous cars in city locations, complete with a supporting infrastructure and “mothership” bases, as well as odour and dirt sensors to detect when the cars need to be cleaned. A launch timeline on P3 Mobility’s website has a full launch in Zagreb scheduled from 2026 with the UK and Germany to follow in 2027.

“It's not the car that we will be selling, we will be service providers”, Rimac told the FT Future of the Car Summit this month. “When we come to a city, we want to come there with a large number of cars and also with the supporting infrastructure in terms of what we call motherships, where we clean and service and charge the cars.”

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Rimac spoke of “democratising” urban transport. “The example I like to use is that a school girl can have an iPhone and a billionaire cannot have a better one - you cannot have a better phone than a 14-year old girl, you cannot have better internet, better Google, it's democratised,” he said. “But the billionaire will get into his Rolls Royce, have plenty of room, a sober driver who's focused on driving, his own music, his temperature. It'll be clean and safe in the car. While school girl will have to use other modes of transport which are not those things.”

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“What you will see [with P3] is that the school girl can have a better experience than the billionaire in the Rolls Royce,” he continued. “Safer, more convenient, cleaner, more tailored to her – her music, her internet services and overall the best experience possible.”

“We think most of the startups are doing it wrong, and the OEMs are too slow so we are in quite a good position to do it,” continued Rimac, describing autonomous vehicles from start-up tech companies as “toasters”. 

“They’re like little trains on rubber wheels, because on Excel it looks good that you cram more people into the same space, which people don’t like to do.” On the other side of the fence, traditional car manufacturers are edging slowly towards autonomous driving by adding sensors and new tech gradually, rather than coming to market with a whole new concept. 

P3 will need to raise more development funding before it comes to a city near you, but with the first cars expected to land in 2026 and the UK market targeted for 2027, things are moving quickly. The Government has already established the legislative framework for autonomous cars on UK roads and P3 Mobility are aiming to be in the vanguard of a number of companies looking to take advantage. 

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As Editor, Paul’s job is to steer the talented group of people that work across Auto Express, Carbuyer and Driving Electric, and steer the titles to even bigger and better things by bringing the latest important stories to our readers. Paul has been writing about cars and the car industry since 2000, working for consumer and business magazines as well as freelancing for national newspapers, industry titles and a host of major publications.

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