Introducing Olli, the new self-driving electric minibus designed by Local Motors and powered by IBM Watson that made the first 3D-printed car. The bus has room for 12 people and uses IBM Watson’s cloud-based cognitive computing system to provide information to passengers.
Olli will be exclusive to DC these next few months, but Miami and Las Vegas will get their own in late 2016. Local Motors is in talks to test the bus in cities outside the US, including Berlin, Copenhagen and Canberra. It is unclear if anyone can get the chance to ride one, since these are merely trial runs, but you can ask local authorities if the EV makes it’s way to your city.
The 12-seater EV was unveiled in National Harbor during the opening of Local Motors’ facility in Maryland, but more microfactories are also set to open.
The event displayed innovative techniques in 3D printing and the recycling of 3D-printed cars. It also aimed to encourage children to take up an interest in sciences and the engineering.
In addition to automatically driving you where you want to go using Phoenix Wings autonomous driving tech, Olli can respond to questions and provide information, similar to Amazon’s Echo home assistant. The bus debuts in the Washington D.C. area for the public to use during select times over the next few months, and the IBM-Local Motors team hopes to introduce Olli to the Miami and Las Vegas areas by the end of the year.
There are many who believe the future will be filled with self-driving cars without individual owners which come pick you up like taxis. Clearly a bus is the first logical step in that direction. They just should have named it “Otto.”