Local Motors by LM Industries Group Inc., known for 3D-printed mobility solutions, will deploy a fleet of autonomous shuttles, known as Olli, at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall near Washington, D.C. A ceremony to celebrate the debut of the self-driving shuttles will be held at the base and feature a number of officials from Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, the Army, the Marines, Local Motors and Virginia’s Department of Transportation.
The deployment is months in the making and comes as the result of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall winning a regional fleet challenge, which asked entrants to propose use-case scenarios for the electric, self-driving shuttle. A panel of judges, including Jason Miller, CEO of Greater Washington Partnership; Shailen Bhatt, President and CEO of ITS America; and Scott Frisch, COO and Executive Vice President at AARP, evaluated all of the submissions for the challenge.
“Olli’s deployment at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall illustrates a unique use-case scenario for autonomous vehicles, and knowing that it will directly benefit men and women serving our country makes it even more special,” Jay Rogers, CEO and Co-Founder of Local Motors, said. “It’s always exciting to see conceptual plans come to life, especially when those plans involve innovative technology, and we’re looking forward to seeing how Olli can teach others about the impact a self-driving vehicle can make at a military installation. The Olli Fleet Challenge gives us opportunities to introduce our autonomous shuttles to a variety of audiences and users across a diverse landscape of settings, and this collaboration with Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall is yet another example of how entities that serve the greater public can benefit from innovation in the private sector.”
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, an Army and Marine Corps joint base adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery, plans to use the shuttles to transport base personnel to a variety of stops, including the community centre, dining options, a health clinic and barracks. Engineers from Local Motors have been working with base personnel over the past few weeks to map the route that Olli will use.
“I had a chance to learn about and ride Olli during a visit to Local Motors earlier this year, and that experience only heightened my excitement about bringing this shuttle to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall,” Lt. Colonel Brandon Newall, with the Marine Corps Installation Command, said. “This type of partnership further demonstrates how military installations can and should look to innovative solutions that create efficiencies while also providing real support for the men and women who choose to serve.”
The Olli Fleet Challenge is part of an ongoing, first-of-its-kind global initiative in which Local Motors has invited municipalities, campuses and designated districts to propose a short-term, local use for Olli, the world’s first co-created, self-driving electric shuttle. Olli shuttles have already been deployed to Sacramento State’s campus and to a busy thoroughfare in Australia, and they are operating at the California State Exposition. Additional fleet challenges are in progress in Atlanta, Georgia, and in Southern California.
All of the deployments are designed to introduce new landscapes and use possibilities for self-driving technology in a way that illustrates to riders that autonomous vehicles are safe and easy to use. Unlike vehicles similar to it, Olli uses obstacle avoidance technology to find routes around objects that block its path.
Olli, which employs a responsive cognitive function, is an environmentally-friendly vehicle designed to change the future of mobility. A safe and efficient shuttle, Olli is a viable and sustainable transportation option for cities, companies, hospitals, campuses, stadiums, entertainment districts and any other location where people need to move from one place to another.