Local Motors has partnered with AAA Northern California and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) to test Olli, its electric, 3D-printed, self-driving shuttle.
The companies are testing a solution to the “first mile, last mile” challenge that many commuters face daily, especially in the San Francisco Bay Area. Testing is taking place at GoMentum Station in California’s Contra Costa County. Test engineers will have the shuttle undergo multiple testing scenarios, including intersection crossing, interactions with pedestrians, and tunnel driving.
"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," said Vikrant Aggarwal, president of Local Motors. "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."
The Olli shuttle features cognitive response technology and sensors as well as an obstacle avoidance system.
"Driving is unpredictable. Road obstacles, distracted drivers, and unpredictable pedestrians make it difficult to anticipate and navigate the road," said Ignacio Garcia, vice president of autonomous vehicles strategy, AAA Northern California. "That is why we believe it is critical to develop safety criteria and test the safety functions of self-driving vehicles. Since the majority of car crashes are related to human error, self-driving technology has the potential to reduce casualties. We are in a unique position to help public agencies and private companies like Local Motors to develop and test self-driving technology safely before it is deployed on public roads."
Local Motors and AAA Northern California will continue to test Olli for a year before piloted deployment options are discussed.