LM Industries launches Olli fleet challenge to accelerate deployments of its autonomous shuttle


LM Industries Group Inc., the world’s first digital OEM, and its subsidiaries Launch Forth and Local Motors, have unveiled a first-of-its-kind global autonomous fleet challenge to encourage more communities to find ‘use cases’ for the company’s self-driving Olli electric shuttles.

The challenge invites municipalities, campuses and designated districts to propose a three-month, local use for Olli, the world’s first co-created, self-driving, low-speed, electric shuttle.

Local Motors will provide 10 challenge-winning cities with pods of 5-10 Olli vehicles over the course of the next 10 months for free. Olli is an environmentally friendly vehicle designed to change the future of mobility, which employs a robust autonomous drive system developed by Robotic Research. It is approximately 30% 3D-printed, using direct digital manufacturing that allows Local Motors to bring Olli to market at an unprecedented speed.

A safe and efficient shuttle, Olli is a viable and sustainable transportation option for cities, hospitals, campuses, entertainment districts and any other location where people need to move from one place to another over relatively short distances of a few miles.

The first challenge is open to entries from the Greater Phoenix (Arizona) and Sacramento (California) areas. Two winners of this challenge will each receive a pod of Ollis sized to their proposed use case and location before the end of the year.

Entries will be evaluated by a panel of esteemed judges, including Sandra Watson, CEO and president of the Arizona Commerce Authority, and Congresswoman Doris Matsui of California’s 6th District, which encompasses Sacramento, before Ollis are deployed to a series of selected locations. The second fleet challenge will launch in Australia and the Nordic countries, with additional challenges to follow in the coming months.

“The world is eagerly searching for innovative solutions for sustainable transportation. Over the past few weeks, we’ve provided nearly 2,000 Olli rides to thrilled audiences including government decision makers,” said Jay Rogers, CEO and co-founder of LM Industries.

“This challenge is a meaningful opportunity for local and business leaders to take the next step and put their collective heads together to envision how mobility is going to change in their communities, and then have the opportunity to immediately test that vision.”

Watson commented, “Arizona is proud to be a place where companies come to test and scale transformative, cutting-edge technology. We’re thrilled that LM Industries, which has called Arizona home to its Local Motors division headquarters for many years, is continuing to innovate in our state in new ways.

“The Challenge will empower local organizations to participate in shaping the future of autonomous mobility from the operations, public safety and policy perspectives. I look forward to seeing the projects advanced that will help define the next generation of transportation.”

Congresswoman Matsui added, “The Olli challenge paves the way for those in my home district of Sacramento, and across California, to explore how autonomous vehicles can best serve their communities. Participants will gain direct insight into public benefits of autonomy, learn how to ensure roadway safety, and enhance our global competitiveness in the Innovation economy. I’m proud to be a part of this collaborative project as it encourages innovation and helps build frameworks for regulation.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).