We truly hope this is not going to be a trend but Local Motors and Digital Alloys become the 2nd and 3rd companies to shut down their activities. Remember, less than a month ago, Wacker Chemie is the one who shut down its ACEO silicone 3D printing service.
Automotive manufacturer Local Motors stood for, almost an automotive DARPA for the public. When the organization debuted 6 years ago, the 25 mph-capable Olli was just a small self-driving shuttle bus, that could carry up to 12 passengers around tight city streets and university campuses at once.
The success of this first autonomous vehicle attracted investors in 2018 led to the launch of Olli 2.0 – an AV that the car manufacturer has continuously enhanced in collaboration with several technology partners including SABIC, Windform, or door2door.
The company would have shut down operations on Friday 14.01.2022 but has yet to release an official statement. Its employees in the meantime, have already payed tribute to its achievements on social media:
“I am disheartened to announce that Local Motors will cease to exist as of January 14. I was only there a few months, but loved every minute of it,” Chris Stoner, Local Motors’ ex-VP of Sales and Customer Success said on Linkedin. “I made some great friends, both locally and globally, which makes it worthwhile. The autonomous vehicle space is an exciting emerging market with plenty of opportunity. Experiencing first-hand the skill and dedication of the people I worked with, I have no doubt AVs (like Olli) are the future of transportation.”
“As with most adventures, they must come to an end,” added Jeff Hollowell, Local Motors’ former VP of Information Technology via a Linkedin post. “Local Motors has closed its doors. It has been an exciting, challenging, and educational experience working with Olli and all the team at Local Motors. I was fortunate to work with amazing individuals and help build what others said could not be done! “I’ve been able to grow as a leader and learn new skills that i now take to my next path forward. thanks to all the team members and partners that i was able to work with. the time spent was well worth the effort.”
Local Motors’ closure comes at a time when, the company appeared to be publicly making progress in local trials and gaining momentum globally.
On another note, developer of multi-metal printing 3D printers Digital Alloys shut down its activities last year. The company was founded in 2017 and received a total funding of $19M ($5M in Series A in May 2017, $12.9M in series B in August 2018 and $1.07Min series B in May 2020). It focused on developing high-speed, multi-metal additive manufacturing systems using Joule Printing technology. It can be used in metals that are hard to cut, hard to design, and hard to source.
One of the capabilities of this technology was publicly demonstrated on October 2020 when the manufacturer shipped its 1st part – an H13 tool steel fixture for an auto OEM. Since then, the company remained quite silent on the advancements of its activities – until the global online auction that was completed on July 29th, 2021.
For now, both companies remained silent on the reasons of their shut down but we believe that the lack of financial resources is the key factor that led to their downfall.
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