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Meet Olli, the Self-Driving Cognitive Shuttle


Kelsey Davis, Manager, Digital Media, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Self-driving technology is gearing up to transform the way we travel. Local Motors, a Consumer Technology Association (CTA) member, is at the forefront of this groundbreaking innovation and aims to produce technology that will improve our quality of life and make transportation safer.

We had a chance to speak with Jay Rogers, the CEO and cofounder of Local Motors, about their self-driving cognitive shuttle, Olli, and how self-driving tech can change the world.

How did Local Motors first begin?

Local Motors began with an idea and desire to bring vehicle creation and collaboration to the people. We wanted to become less dependent on resources outside of the United States as well as give people the opportunity to not only have a say in what vehicles looked like, but also a chance to make the world a better place, while being rewarded.

What is the mission of Local Motors?

Local Motors is determined to change the way vehicles are designed, manufactured and sold.

Tell us a little about Olli. How is Olli going to change the idea of transportation?

Olli is the world’s first self-driving, cognitive shuttle that uses IBM’s Watson technology to provide a more personalized experience. Olli is currently a “first mile/last mile” solution with the goal of being implemented in cities, towns and municipalities all over the world to solve congestion, pollution and accessibility issues. Olli currently would fill the service that a personal vehicle provides, allowing people to take Olli around town or from a transit station to their final destination.

How do you see the future of self-driving technology changing the world?

Self-driving technology will provide a better quality of life, freeing up time that was spent sitting behind the steering wheel of a car. Self-driving technology will reduce car accidents and casualties immensely. It is reported that 90 percent of car accidents are due to human error.  Fewer fatalities on the roads due to distracted drivers and more time freed up for a person to spend doing what they love.

What is next for Local Motors and Olli?

Local Motors will be launching Olli pilot programs nationwide beginning in Q4 of 2017 through 2018, putting a commercial Olli on the streets in 2019. We will be showcasing our #AccessibleOlli prototype vehicle at CES 2018 in January, which will then be used as a “living lab” to continue the co-creation of ideas and emerging technologies.  

What is AccessibleOlli and why does Local Motors see this as an important project?

#AccessibleOlli is a co-creation project being brought to life with our partners at the CTA Foundation and IBM Watson, aiming to tackle the everyday challenges that people from all walks of life face.

We are looking to make Olli accessible for everyone, whether they be mobile restricted, hearing impaired, visually impaired, etc. #AccessibleOlli will make the rider’s experience enjoyable, personable and simple.

Want more self-driving and smart cities technology? You can see the latest innovation at CES 2018. Register today.

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