At the beginning of last year, Local Motors raised over $1 billion to improve the development of their 3D printed “Olli’ shuttle”, unveiled in 2016. Tennessee-based car manufacturer fulfilled its promise by launching a new autonomous shuttle, which is 80% 3D printed this time.
With its new upgrades, Olli 2.0 can foster the adoption of autonomous shuttles. According to Local Motors co-founder and CEO John B. Rogers Jr., the electric vehicle has already been a convincing ambassador of the fact that we are already living in the future. Therefore, no need to expect other innovations.
“The public isn’t going to see New York City with autonomous vehicles running around all the time (any time soon),” Rogers said. Campuses, on the other hand, are a sweet spot for companies like Local Motors that want to deploy now. These are places where mobility is needed and people are able to get up close and personal with a “friendly robot” like Olli, Rogers said.
Local Motors’ new shuttle delivers a top speed of 25 miles per hour. Compared to the first Olli, the production process for Olli 2.0 has been enhanced: Olli 2.0 is 80% 3D Printed. It integrates hub motors whereas its predecessor integrates axle wheel motors. Moreover, the manufacturer added two more seats in Olli 2.0 as well as programmable lighting.
There is always room for customization with the new solution. The media content can be customized so that the vehicle is more in line with the “5G future”. AR and VR can also be integrated, if needed. Furthermore, the vehicle’s interior can be adapted to suit various needs. If a hospital has to use Olli .0, it might require fewer seats and more room to transport patient on beds.
Its communication method has been improved. Natural language voice can use Amazon’s deep learning chatbot service Lex and IBM Watson. Both communication techniques can be combined if desired.
All these features make Olli 2.0 authentic and ready to challenge transport in institutions.
Local Motors began with production this summer– in July – and the first shuttles are expected for the fourth quarter of this year.
For now, all shuttles will be used in the US but Local Motors plans to build a third micro factory in Europe. We don’t know yet where exactly but Olli will soon be available in Europe.
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