National Harbor, MD - 16 Jun 2016: Local Motors, the leading vehicle technology integrator and creator of the world's first 3D-printed cars, today introduced the first self-driving vehicle to integrate the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of IBM (NYSE: IBM) Watson. Starting today, Olli will be used on public roads locally in DC, and late in 2016 in Miami-Dade County and Las Vegas. "Olli offers a smart, safe and sustainable transportation solution that is long overdue," Rogers said. "Olli with Watson acts as our entry into the world of self-driving vehicles, something we've been quietly working on with our co-creative community for the past year. We are now ready to accelerate the adoption of this technology and apply it to nearly every vehicle in our current portfolio and those in the very near future.
Open-source auto company Local Motors is constantly redefining itself. The company began with the Rally Fighter, whose designs were crowdsourced from the Local Motors community. The firm then jumped into the 3D printing industry, first 3D printing the Strati concept vehicle and then embarking on a complete line of 3D-printed road-ready cars, set to hit highways in 2017. At the grand opening of the company's new facility in National Harbor, MD, Local Motors redefined itself once again by unveiling "Olli", the first self-driving vehicle powered by IBM Watson. Watson will allow the auto to take advantage of a number of advanced cognitive computing capabilities, including the ability to answer questions from the vehicle's passengers.
Olli, created by Arizona-based Local Motors, officially hit the streets of the nation's capital Thursday. Using an app similar to Uber or Lyft, ride-seekers can order the bus to pick them up and drop them off at their destinations of choice. Olli is electric-powered and 3D-printed, reducing the vehicles footprint before and after it hits the road, Local Motors wrote in a release. The bus can even talk to riders. "Olli offers a smart, safe and sustainable transportation solution that is long overdue," John B. Rogers Jr., Local Motors CEO and co-founder, said.
If a new driverless shuttle bus makes riders nervous, IBM's Watson system is on board to make feel passengers feel less alone. And the bus' cute name – Olli – might help, too. TechRepublic reports that Maryland's Local Motors is partnering with IBM on its autonomous shuttle bus named Olli. IBM is contributing its Watson Internet of Things (IoT) for Automotive cognitive computing system. This comes as the global market for self-driving cars is expected to grow exponentially over the next few years.
Local Motors officially introduced "Olli" -- a self-driving mini bus that incorporates IBM's Watson artificial intelligence (AI) platform to deal with customers. The IBM's AI service will not be used to operate the self-driving car, and will instead answer customer queries about the route and whether they have time to stop for coffee on the way. The self-driving electric vehicle will have the capacity to transport as many as 12 individuals at a time. Local Motors is known for creating the world's first 3D-printed car, and it has collaborated with IBM Corporation (NYSE:IBM) to introduce an equally innovative concept with its latest feature. The company unveiled Olli -- the brainchild of vehicle designer Edgar Sarmiento -- at the launch of its new facility in National Harbor, MD.