Local Motors designed the Olli autonomous shuttle bus to be 3D printed [Image: Local Motors]
Local Motors is partnering with Robotic Research, best-known for its work for the US Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, to further develop Olli, its autonomous-driving shuttle bus. They will collaborate on integrating new sensor sets, technologies and other applications, with a view to facilitating and optimizing the industrialization and commercialization of Olli, which was designed in a co-creation process to be 3D-printed for low-volume manufacture.

Robotic Research will supply its ‘AutoDrive’ autonomy kit for Olli, which was developed using the IBM Watson IoT cloud-based cognitive computing and vehicle recognition platform, and has user interfaces including speech commands and speech-to-text communication.

Jay Rogers, CEO and co-founder of Local Motors’ parent firm LM Industries, said in a statement: “Onboarding partners such as Robotic Research, who believe in our mission and bring such robust knowledge to the co-creation process, allow Local Motors to provide the most capable, safe and reliable product to market at rapid speeds.”

LM Industries has also announced a tie-up with Protean Electric, firstly for the supply of its eDrive in-wheel electric motor technology. This will be fitted into Olli, and the partnership will then collaborate to develop and accelerate further technologies in the transportation-as-a-service sector.

Says Rogers: “Protean Electric’s eDrive technology with in-wheel motors and integrated power electronics makes powertrain components obsolete and vehicle digitization easier.”

-Farah Alkhalisi