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Olli Self Driving Minibus

Updated on August 13, 2016

Introduction

I am a skeptic when it comes to self driving cars as proposed by Google and Tesla. However, I do see a niche market for a self driving vehicle in a restricted environment with limited speed and a fixed route. This new Olli is one such vehicle. It is designed for city tours and airport shuttles. I hope it will make it in the market place.

-July 2016

Background

Local Motors based out of Arizona is a new startup car company that designed and build the Olli. The design of the Olli was made by a 24 year old engineer using 3D printing technology. This has increased the speed to market for this new product.

In addition, the Olli uses the IBM Watson technology to help with the user interface. It provides voice recognition to help guide the passengers and provides useful tips.

Finally, for the green community, this car is totally electric. It runs on rechargeable batteries and will help with reducing the pollution and green house gases of gas engines.

The minibus is monitored remotely by technicians that tracks all movements at all times.

Some Specifications

  • carry up to 12 passengers
  • maximum speed of 25 miles per hour
  • has 30 various sensors
  • uses IBM Watson for intelligent user interface with voice recognition
  • all electric power - fully charged in 4 hours with a range of 35 miles.
  • many parts are created with 3D printing

3D Printer in Design and Production of Olli

What is IBM Watson?

IBM Watson is a technology platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data. It was the system that beat the human Chess master Gary Kasparov and the famous Ken Jennings at Jeopardy game show.

Summary

Olli is being tested in the streets of Washinton DC, near the National Harbor, and will be available to the general public in Sept. 2016. If it works as promised, it could revolutionize a whole set of driving experience such as shuttles at airports and downtown cities and other low speed scenarios.

As a former IBM Research employee, I am pulling for the success of this product. Good luck Watson.

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    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 9 months ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Thanks for an interesting Hub, Jack! I'm sure you'll keep us up to date on how 'Olli' does.

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