Quantcast

First Self-Driving, 3D-Printed Smart Bus Hits the Streets of Washington, DC

Popular

Public transportation users in Washington, DC, can now hitch a ride on a self-driving, 3D-printed bus.

Olli, created by Arizona-based Local Motors, officially hit the streets of the nation's capital Thursday. Using an app similar to Uber or Lyft, ride-seekers can order the bus to pick them up and drop them off at their destinations of choice.

Photo credit: Local Motors

And it gets better. Olli is electric-powered and 3D-printed, reducing the vehicles footprint before and after it hits the road, Local Motors wrote in a release. The bus can even talk to riders.

“Olli offers a smart, safe and sustainable transportation solution that is long overdue," John B. Rogers Jr., Local Motors CEO and co-founder, said.

Local Motors teamed up with IBM Watson Internet of Things, making Olli the first vehicle to have the capability to analyze and learn from transportation data. The self-driving bus is equipped with 30 sensors that collect the data, allowing it to make quick decisions, according to Local Motors. Sensors will be added and adjusted to fit passengers' needs and local preferences.

“Olli with Watson acts as our entry into the world of self-driving vehicles, something we've been quietly working on with our co-creative community for the past year," Rogers said.

Using IBM Watson technology, the bus will be able to answer questions about how it works, where it is going and how it makes decisions, Local Motors said. Passengers will also be able to ask Olli about destinations, such as "Olli, can you take me downtown?"

Local Motors claims Olli can even answer questions about recommendations of local destinations and historical sites.

"Cognitive computing provides incredible opportunities to create unparalleled, customized experiences for customers, taking advantage of the massive amounts of streaming data from all devices connected to the Internet of Things, including an automobile's myriad sensors and systems," Harriet Green, general manager of commerce and education for IBM Watson Internet of Things, said.

Olli has a unique assembly process. Parts of the self-driving bus are created at local 3D printing shops, Inhabitat reported. The parts will be assembled at Local Motors sites.

“We hope to be able to print this vehicle in about 10 hours and assemble it in another hour," Rogers said.

Local Motor's long-term plan is to establish hundreds of micro-factories across the globe, which will produce Ollies designed for local needs. The company has micro-factorieswhich uses less space, energy and materials—in Berlin, Germany; Chandler, Arizona; Knoxville, Tennessee; and a new one in National Harbor, Maryland.

Despite being just officially introduced, Local Motors is working with dozens of cities in at least 50 countries who are interested in the technology, according to Inhabitat.

The original Olli will stay at Local Motors' Maryland facility for the summer. Interested members of the public can interact with the vehicle at select times throughout the season.

Additional Ollies will be built at the company's headquarters near Phoenix.

Watch Local Motors' video about Olli:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

Nation's Largest Residential Solar Storage Project to Launch This Summer

Volkswagen Bets on Electric Cars After Dieselgate

David Suzuki: Feed-In Tariffs Accelerate the Renewable Energy Revolution

Apple Is Generating So Much Renewable Energy It Plans to Start Selling It

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less