Olli, a 3D printed, self-driving minibus, is ready for its tryst with the road in the US. The bus took 10 hours to print, one hour to assemble and it is ready for service.
The 3D printed minibus can carry 12 persons, and it was first unveiled at the National Harbor in Maryland. The electric, self-driving minibus is collaboration between Local Motors and IBM, using IBM’s Watson supercomputer.
It is an on demand logistic solution when passengers can summon the cab via an app on their mobile just akin to Uber rides. It can be customized and printed to specification in nano-factories in a matter of hours.
The 3d printed minibus was shown at the National Harbor, and more trials are scheduled in Las Vegas and Miami.
Google and some auto makers have also spent billions in perfecting the technology for autonomous vehicles but are not clear when it will go into production. Local Motors, however, contend that their car is ready to go into service when the law allows such vehicles on the road.
The 12 –seater is an autonomous driving system and uses IBM’s Watson’s to accomplish the EV’s and other features. The rider can tell the minibus where he is heading to in his mother tongue courtesy supercomputer Watson.
Olli can be seen on the streets of DC but will be seen soon in Miami and Las Vegas. Local Motors also wants to test its latest vehicle in cities outside the US including Berlin, Canberra, and Copenhagen.
The driving is effected by a system developed by Local Motors in cooperation with some software and tech partners. IBM is only providing the interface so that passengers can interact with Olli. It is IBM’s first foray into the autonomous driving vehicle segment although it has worked with some automobile makers on technology solutions.