Phoenix-based Local Motors is debuting its new Olli self-driving shuttle at a major business park in Rancho Cordova, California. According to Local Motors, the 12-passenger autonomous vehicle is the world's first to be co-created using additive manufacturing techniques, commonly referred to as 3D printing, at distributed microfactories.
The Olli shuttle will be available to the general public and the White Rock Corporate Campus’ 1,600 workers during a three-month pilot program that ends on November 7. The pilot – funded by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) through a $90,000 grant, with an additional $10,000 in funding assistance from the City of Rancho Cordova – will be used to better understand public sentiment regarding self-driving shuttles, the potential for congestion relief and better mobility, the reduction of single occupant vehicle use, and the potential for the use of the latest Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) technology.
“One of Olli's greatest assets is her versatility,” says Matt Rivett, Local Motors executive vice president. “Olli was designed with an eye on the future of mobility, knowing transportation needs are evolving in a variety of settings, including within the business community. This partnership with Rancho Cordova is definitely a milestone, and we anticipate that Olli will be embraced as the safe, user-friendly transportation option that she is.”
The Rancho Cordova rollout is the result of Local Motors’ initiative to collaborate with organizations for short-term, local uses of Olli shuttles in order to develop the platform through rider feedback.
“This project was dreamed up in our Civic Lab innovation accelerator program and funded by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments board of directors and private sector matches,” says James Corless, SACOG's executive director. “We look forward to seeing how innovative mobility solutions can operate in a business park setting, providing a clean, zero-emission transportation choice for workers.”
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Local Motors has hosted several challenges since launching the initiative in late 2018 and has deployed Olli shuttles across several locations in California, at a military installation near Washington, D.C., and along a busy thoroughfare in Australia. Additional deployments are expected in the coming months in Atlanta and Central Europe.
Those interested in using the Olli shuttle can receive a free “ticket to ride” QR code via email after registering at www.RideOlli.com and signing a waiver. The QR code will be scanned when riders board and direct riders to an online survey so Local Motors can receive feedback regarding the program and vehicle.
Founded in 2007, Local Motors by LM Industries, Inc. is a ground mobility company with a belief in open collaboration and co-creation. Local Motors began low volume vehicle manufacturing of open-source designs – like the sporty off-road Rally Fighter – using multiple microfactories. Since inception, Local Motors has debuted no less than three world firsts; the world's first co-created vehicle, the world's first 3D-printed car, and the world's first co-created, self-driving, electric vehicle, Olli.
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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.
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