Automated & Connected

Olli is a co-created, self-driving electric vehicle for cities, companies, hospitals, campuses, stadiums, and entertainment districts. Photo: Local Motors

Local Motors goes international with Australian autonomous fleet challenge

Arizona-based ground mobility company Local Motors is opening an Australian fleet challenge for its autonomous shuttle known as Olli. The challenge invites Australian municipalities, campuses, designated districts, and transit or transportation operators to propose short-term, best-use scenarios for the self-driving shuttle.

The challenge asks entrants to propose autonomous deployments for Olli fleets in their locations. Local Motors says that it is “looking to partner with future-forward cities, communities and mobility ‘placemakers’ to co-create transportation solutions,” and that the partnership formed through the challenge will help develop “a nuanced view of the locations and use cases that define where and how new mobility solutions like Olli will enhance our lives.”

The entry calls participants to initially provide a vision of how Olli would be deployed and used. It asks organizations how they will contribute to any variable costs such as mapping, scoping and testing. It also asks entrants to “describe how your organization will support and approve regulatory requirements for low-speed autonomy on your defined route,” and seeks what “internal capabilities or support would your organization be able to provide for a successful deployment?”


The Australian challenge follows similar challenges in Sacramento, Calif. and the Washington, D.C. area. California’s Sacramento State is preparing to receive its fleet of Olli shuttles after being named a winner of the challenge in December 2018. Judges will begin evaluating entries for the Washington D.C. challenge in early February.

Jay Rogers, CEO and co-founder of Local Motors, believes these challenges, which will be held in additional markets, is a way to introduce the general public to the concept and benefits of autonomous transportation.

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The entry window for the Australian challenge is open immediately and will close March 27. A winning entry is expected to be announced in late April. Olli shuttles will be deployed to the winning location once route mapping is completed.

Olli, according to Local Motors, employs a responsive cognitive function, and offers a safe and efficient shuttle as a viable and sustainable transportation option for cities, companies, hospitals, campuses, stadiums, entertainment districts, and any other location where people need to move from one place to another.

Click the link below to learn more about the fleet challenge or review entry qualifications.


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Mark Miller is a contributing writer to SAE International. He has worked as a technology writer and editor for IBM and other advanced information technology firms. His areas of concentration include artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, analytics and Internet of Things technologies.

Original Article