Olli, first autonomous 3D printed transit vehicle in Knoxville – Tennessee
Olli is the masterpiece that is currently being printed by Local Motors, cars’ manufacturer in Tennessee.
As far as production is concerned, it is different from conventional automobile manufacturing. Indeed, traditional cars require deep investments in tools and production facilities especially for a unique design whereas in this case, the method allows flexibility in the design.
Regarding for instance a University campus’ needs, the manufacturers explain that “the large automaker can’t alter their vehicle, but [we], Local Motors can simply change the file, and print a batch of Ollis that fits best with the campus’ needs.”
As for the components, they are created by a Cincinnati Inc BAAM printer and a digital design file which varies according to the specific demand of each client.
However, the progress is still to be made by Local Motors which is looking forward to implement smart features so that users with reduced mobility, sight, cognitive or hearing disabilities could get a better access. For that, IBM Watson software would certainly be helpful.
First trials of the company were carried out at the beginning of the year in Germany (Berlin) through a collaboration with Deutsche Bahn. The driverless vehicle then transports passengers from work to the nearest Deutsche Bahn rail station.
Rumour has it that Disney World would implement Olli vehicles in Florida. That would be a great potential for Disney Olli shuttles and a way to improve the experience of consumers. Let’s stay tuned to see where this goes!