Local Motors is offering rides in its autonomous electric shuttle bus – in a boxy, far-out concept vehicle named Olli.
Local Motors, an Arizona-based company that crowdsources vehicle design, has introduced the 3D-printed concept bus at the new National Harbor campus located 10 miles from Washington, D.C. The company says that it’s a 3D-printing demo lab and educational platform, including a new program for kids that demonstrates recycling of printed cars.
The company says that it’s the first vehicle to use IBM Watson’s car-focused cognitive learning platform, Watson Internet of Things (IoT) for Automotive. Local Motors also plans to open new facilities in Knoxville, Tenn., and Berlin this year.
Local Motors gained attention last year at North American International Auto Show, where it demonstrated the all-electric Strati two-seater concept car. The company displayed the Strati along with another 3D printed electric car shown by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Manufacturing Demonstration Facility.
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Olli will be giving passengers demo rides here throughout the summer at the National Harbor facility. Visitors will also be able to view 3D-printing capabilities first used in the Strati in 2014 onsite, and experiment with 3D printing themselves.
“The Strati is the idea of what does a $5,000 car look like? And an Olli is, what does it mean to share [a car]? The future is full of both. In the future, it is shared transportation that is organizationally owned, there will be shared transportation that is privately owned, and then there will be transportation that is not shared that is privately owned. We’ll have all these,” said CEO and co-founder John B. Rogers, Jr.