Olli autonomous shuttles to be tested at California’s GoMentum Station


Local Motors is working with AAA Northern California and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) to test its electric, 3D-printed autonomous Olli shuttle at GoMentum Station, with future plans of deployment near transit stations around Northern California.

Local Motors has developed Olli to be an environmentally-friendly, viable and sustainable first-mile/last-mile transportation option for cities, companies, hospitals, campuses and other locations where people need to move from one place to another. The shuttle features cognitive response technology and sensors, and an obstacle avoidance system, which will undergo a series of trials and evaluations at GoMentum Station; the largest closed-course testing facility for connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) in the USA. Test engineers at AAA Northern California will challenge Olli on the various GoMentum Station tracks and undergo multiple testing scenarios including intersection crossing, interactions with pedestrians, and tunnel driving. Local Motors and the AAA will continue testing for a year before piloted deployment options are considered in Contra Costa County.

“Driving is unpredictable. Road obstacles, distracted drivers, and unpredictable pedestrians make it difficult to anticipate and navigate the road,” said Ignacio Garcia, vice president of autonomous vehicles strategy at AAA Northern California. “That is why we believe it is critical to develop safety criteria and test the safety functions of self-driving vehicles. Since the majority of car crashes are related to human error, self-driving technology has the potential to reduce casualties. We are in a unique position to help public agencies and private companies like Local Motors to develop and test self-driving technology safely before it is deployed on public roads.”

Vikrant Aggarwal, president of Local Motors, said, “Every city has the same transportation challenges, congestion, pollution and accessibility, and our goal is to provide a simple, safe and effective mobility solution that alleviates some of the pain points for those living in the city. With all new vehicle technology, safety is paramount, therefore we are excited to work with AAA Northern California on rigorous ‘real-world’ testing at the GoMentum Station to ensure our shuttles are ready for public roads.”

The CCTA’s executive director, Randy Iwasaki, added, “We are looking forward to learning from the testing that will happen at GoMentum Station, and ultimately being able to offer Contra Costa residents a safe, domestically-manufactured, electric, self-driving shuttle as a means of travel to help connect them to transit, medical, and employment centers in Contra Costa.”

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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.