EV/AV: Electric vehicles reach the peak; while Rimac launches new robo-taxi service

Toronto, Ontario — In this weekly electric and autonomous vehicle report, Ford’s F-150 Lightning becomes the winner of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb race; while Rimac launches ‘Verne,’ a robo-taxi service.

Reaching the peak

On June 23rd, Romain Dumas became the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) 2024 ‘King of the Mountain’ while racing an augmented Ford F-150 Lightning super truck.

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Dumas drove the F-150 Lightning Supertrack up the Pikes Peak race course with a final time of 8:53.553.

Ford reported there were some unnamed technical issues during the run that briefly brought Dumas to a complete stop on the course. According to a report from Autoblog, Ford estimated that this pause cost Dumas around 26 seconds.

Also on the podium for this year’s race was Wolf Racing and Hyundai. Hyundai specifically ran one of its Ioniq 5 NTime Attack vehicles being driven by Dani Sordo, which finished with a time of 9:30.852.

Verne’s vehicle

Mate Rimac, CEO of Bugatti, has partnered with two former Rimac partners, Marko Pejkovic and Adriano Mudri, to form Verne, a new line of autonomous robo-taxis.

According to Driving.ca, this partnership will involve designing a self-driving vehicle and creating all support infrastructure needed to operate a fleet of robo-taxis.

While details of the proposed vehicle are still being developed, Driving.ca further noted that the vehicle will only have two seats. Research from Mudri indicated that “nine out of 10 rides are used by only one or two people.”

Limiting the vehicle to only two seats also allows the vehicle to have added interior space—something that for the partners would ensure that customers can really ‘stretch their legs out.’

The auto partners also plan on having everything in the vehicle be customizable, from the temperature and lighting of the car to the scent and music playing when entering the vehicle—among other features.

The self-driving vehicles will rely on an advanced Mobileye Drive autonomous driving platform that uses cameras, radar and lidar “to meet the demands of autonomous driving in a variety of locations, on different road types, under varying weather conditions and even taking local driving styles into account,” said the auto company.

The first location where Verne will trial its vehicles is in Zagreb, Croatia, with the auto partners already in talks about expanding into other European cities.

An in-house developed app will be used to allow consumers to hail a ride and control the vehicle’s personalizations.

The post EV/AV: Electric vehicles reach the peak; while Rimac launches new robo-taxi service appeared first on Collision Repair Magazine.


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