Yesterday, Local Motors introduced the Olli, a self-driving, electric 12-seat bus at its new National Harbor location in Oxon Hill, Maryland, outside of Washington, DC. Not only is Olli built from 3D-printed components (like the Strati before it), it's also the first vehicle to use IBM Watson’s cognitive learning platform — it'll actually learn about its passengers. The shuttle was designed by crowdsourced contest winner Edgar Sarmiento, and will be offering rides to curious passersby all summer in DC. Pilot programs in other cities are in the works, too.
When we visited Local Motors earlier in the week, we had an opportunity to tour the facility before the Olli's public unveiling. Here are some select photos from our time there.
- The body of the Olli is 3D-printed. Visitors to National Harbor can watch the printing happen in real time.
- "This is the world’s first autonomous on-demand shuttle. So basically you call it on an app and it picks you up just like Uber and it will talk to you," says Justin Fishkin, Local Motors' Chief Strategic Officer.
- Visitors can check out the 3D printer at work at the new National Harbor lab.
- Local Motors can print a vehicle in less than 24 hours.
- A Local Motors Strati model in the process of 3D printing.
- This is what a recycled car looks like.
- Transportation design student Edgar Sarmiento submitted the winning entry for the Olli.
- An Olli gets ready for its debut.
- A behind-the-scenes view of how a 3D printed vehicle is assembled.
- Small-scale 3D printers line the back walls of the Local Motors workshop.
- Even the Local Motors logo is 3D printed.
- Local Motors has programming for children and adults to learn more about 3D-printing practices.
- The company has created a 3D-printed model of Washington, DC.
- Local Motors merch.