Local Motors announces winners of first autonomous shuttle fleet deployment challenge


The Local Motors division of the LM Industries Group Inc., the world’s first digital OEM, has launched a second fleet deployment challenge for its Olli autonomous shuttles, and unveiled the names of the winning entries for the company’s first challenge to find suitable ‘use cases’ for its vehicles.

Launched in October, the first challenge invited 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, which is approximately 30% 3D-printed.

Designed to solve the problems of relatively short-range mobility problems, Olli employs a robust autonomous drive system developed by Robotic Research. A safe and efficient self-driving 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 short distances, helping to solve the first-mile/last-mile quandary.

Open to entries from the Greater Phoenix (Arizona) and Sacramento (California) areas, the first fleet challenge invited municipalities, campuses and designated districts to propose a short-term, local use for Olli.

The winning entrants are:

The East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT), Arizona’s first joint technical education district that serves the eastern portion of the Phoenix metropolitan area; and California State University in Sacramento, the state capital’s major educational establishment, which has over 30,500 students and is spread over 305 acres (123ha) on the main campus.

Local Motors officials will begin mapping the winning locations within the next few weeks and expects to deploy fleets for public use by the end of January 2019.

California Congresswoman Doris Matsui, who served as a judge on the panel evaluating the Sacramento entries, said, “I’m pleased that Sacramento State will get the chance to integrate Olli, and its innovative technology, into its campus. The Olli AV shuttle represents the direction our transportation is going in the near future. The nature of the landscape and route chosen by Sacramento State ensure that safety is of the utmost importance during this test period. I am eager to see students and faculty alike utilize this technology and make it a part of their daily lives. Exposure to this type of technology is an important first step.”

Having unveiled the names of the winning entries for the first challenge, Jay Rogers, CEO and co-founder of Local Motors, announced the start of the second challenge, which is open to entries from the Greater Washington DC area, and runs through until February 6 next year. One location will be selected to receive a fleet of eight-person Olli shuttles to use for about three months. Additional fleet challenges, with unique judging panels, will continue to roll out in the coming months. Shailen Bhatt, president and CEO of the ITS America, will serve as one of the judges for the Washington competition.

Bhatt commented, “This is an exciting time for intelligent mobility in the Washington region. Local Motors’ Olli challenge is sure to ignite more innovation around the future of autonomous transportation. I am passionate about technology’s ability to save lives on our roadways, so I’m thrilled about this project.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.