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Olli: using autonomous technology to solve traffic and safety

Written by Kfir Kedem - July 30, 2020

Edited by Asaf Kedem

Local Motors is an American company that is trying to upgrade the transportation network into the modern age. It is clear that our future will move from smartphones to smart cities. Part of the cities’ intelligence will be due to their smart mobility. Current transportation systems are getting outdated and need updating to fit the new smart societies.

To combat this issue, Local Motors have developed Olli. Olli is a cozy miniature bus that is also fully autonomous. It is already active in several cities worldwide, including Turin, Italy and Las Vegas, USA. Of course, the argument of safety can always be made against autonomous vehicles. To this, Local Motors reply that they believe autonomous vehicles are actually safer. According to Local Motors’ website, 94% of all driving accidents are caused by human error, which cannot happen with an autonomous car. Additionally, unlike humans, Olli always has a 360-degree view on the road. In the special case that human intervention is still needed, Olli is remotely monitored and can be taken over when required.

Miniature buses such as Olli are aiming to solve congestion as they can blend into traffic, unlike the big bulky buses of today. What is special about Olli is that it is aiming to solve the congestion issue before even hitting the road. Unlike most other automotive manufacturers, Local Motors is able to 3D print the majority of their vehicles’ components in their warehouses, which saves them logistical costs and prevents further congestion and distribution caused traffic on the roads.

Auto Trendy’s take:

Local Motors seem to be on the right path to making Olli a staple on roads. With several Ollis already in action and the support of some municipal leaders, such as Chicago’s mayor, they are able to get the support they need to unleash this new (and somewhat scary to some) technology on the road. Their aims are very clear and hopefully, they will be able to achieve them soon.