3D-printed electric autonomous shuttle undergoes testing

News

Vehicle manufacturing company Local Motors and its partners AAA Northern California and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority are set to test 3D-printed electric self-driving shuttle, Olli.

Olli will be tested with the ‘first-mile, last-mile commuter challenge’ at the closed-course testing facility GoMentum Station in Contra Costa County, California, USA.

The shuttle is equipped with cognitive response technology, sensors and an obstacle avoidance system. It has been designed as a sustainable city transportation option for companies, hospitals, campuses and others.

Testing is likely to continue for a year prior to the planned pilot deployment. In the future, the team has plans to deploy the shuttle near transit stations around Northern California to monitor its performance.

Local Motors president Vikrant Aggarwal said: “Every city has the same transportation challenges, congestion, pollution and accessibility, and our goal at Local Motors is to provide a simple, safe and effective mobility solution that alleviates some of the pain points for those living in the city.

“With all-new vehicle technology, safety is paramount, therefore we are excited to work with AAA Northern California on rigorous ‘real-world’ testing at the GoMentum Station to ensure our shuttles are ready for public roads.”

AAA Northern California’s test engineers will test Olli on different tracks at GoMentum Station. It will also be exposed to scenarios such as intersection crossing, interactions with pedestrians and tunnel driving.

Ignacio Garcia, AAA Northern California autonomous vehicles strategy vice president, added: “Driving is unpredictable. Road obstacles, distracted drivers and unpredictable pedestrians make it difficult to anticipate and navigate the road.

“That is why we believe it is critical to develop safety criteria and test the safety functions of self-driving vehicles.”