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Zagreb Hits the Road to Autonomy

In the bustling streets of Zagreb, a groundbreaking project is underway, heralding the dawn of the robotaxi era in the heart of Croatia. Project 3 Mobility, a pioneering Croatian company, has embarked on the ambitious task of mapping the city's streets, a crucial step in the journey towards unleashing autonomous vehicles on the public roads.

Equipped with a fleet of conventional cars, each manned by a driver and loaded with cutting-edge mapping technology, Project 3 Mobility is collecting a treasure trove of traffic data. From the width of lanes to the presence of road signs, every detail is being catalogued to ensure the future safety and reliability of autonomous driving systems in the urban labyrinth of Zagreb.

But this is merely the beginning. In the months ahead, Project 3 Mobility plans to roll out a series of test vehicles—none of which will resemble the eventual robotaxis—to trial various stages of autonomous driving technology. Despite the excitement, the goal of achieving level five autonomy by 2026 remains shrouded in uncertainty.

Marko Pejković, CEO of Project 3 Mobility, sheds light on the ambitious roadmap ahead: “At P3, we’re fully committed to launching our urban mobility service, starting with Zagreb. Over the next two years, we will conduct a series of tests on the city’s roads, always prioritizing safety and control. This multi-phase process, starting with data collection and street mapping, is essential for ensuring the future safety of our service for all users and citizens.”

This initiative is not Zagreb’s first encounter with street mapping; Google has previously canvassed Croatian roads for its Street View service. However, the rigorous testing phases that lie ahead promise to be a novel challenge, with vehicles and test drivers exploring the nuances of autonomous navigation.

Dario Šamec, one of the qualified test drivers and engineers involved in the data collection, emphasizes the routine nature of their mission: “Our task is straightforward. We operate the data collection vehicle like any other car on the road, using the system solely for gathering information.”

As Project 3 Mobility steers Zagreb towards a future of autonomous mobility, it stands at the forefront of urban innovation, blending technology with urban planning to redefine city life. The eyes of the world will be watching as Zagreb takes its first steps into a future where robotaxis roam freely, promising a revolution in urban transport that is both safe and efficient.

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