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Brief Published: 28 Jun 2016

Olli: On-Demand Self-Driving Electric Bus


Olli, an on-demand, self-driving, 3D-printed electric shuttle bus, has been unveiled by Arizona-based start-up Local Motors.

Created in collaboration with Swiss urban mobility start-up BestMile, Olli can carry up to 12 passengers and be hailed via an app. It is the first vehicle to use IBM Watson software, designed to learn new skills and ‘chat’ with passengers. The technology makes it possible for Olli to recommend local landmarks and restaurants, as well as talking about how the vehicle works, where passengers are going and why Olli is making specific driving decisions. The vehicle will hit roads in Washington, DC, followed by Miami and Las Vegas, later this year. 

“Olli with Watson acts as our entry into the world of self-driving vehicles, something we’ve been quietly working on with our co-creative community for the past year”, said Local Motors co-founder John Rogers. “We are now ready to accelerate the adoption of this technology and apply it to nearly every vehicle in our current portfolio and those in the very near future. I’m thrilled to see what our open community will do with the latest in advanced vehicle technology.”

Capable of being 3D-printed on demand in ‘micro batches’, Olli shuttle buses are an efficient, flexible and scalable solution with the capacity to increase both the reach and quality of the mobility services. In the future, as city populations grow and strain on already-saturated infrastructures increases, autonomous mobility is poised to be the face of sustainable transport.

For more on radically transforming personal and public modes of transport, read our Radical Transport report.