Local Motors started as an open-source company that designed and developed cars with the help of its community. Now, the American manufacturer is taking the wraps off the first self-driving vehicle powered by IBM’s Watson platform.
You might remember Local Motors as the company that spawned the Rally Fighter, 3D-printed a vehicle at the International Manufacturing Technology Show 2014, and will supposedly sell 3D-printed cars beginning this year.
We don’t know if the company’s main focus has shifted in the meantime, but Local Motors introduced a self-driving vehicle that integrates the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of IBM’s Watson tech.
The vehicle, named “Olli”, can carry up to 12 people and employs the cloud-technology platform that utilizes natural language processing and machine learning to reveal and use insights from large amounts of unstructured transportation data to help it move about.
Using the Local Motors open vehicle development process, 30 sensors are now embedded throughout its body, with others to be added and adjusted continuously as passenger needs and local preferences are identified.
Furthermore, Local motors says passengers will be able to interact with Olli while traveling from point A to point B, discussing topics about how the vehicle works, where they are going, and why Olli is making specific driving decisions, as the car comes benefits from Watson’s Speech to Text, Natural Language Classifier, Entity Extraction and Text to Speech technology.
Furthermore, starting with June 16th, Olli will be used on public roads locally in DC, expanding to Miami-Dade County and Las Vegas by the end of the year.
“Olli offers a smart, safe and sustainable transportation solution that is long overdue. 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. We are now ready to accelerate the adoption of this technology and apply it to nearly every vehicle in our current portfolio and those in the very near future. I’m thrilled to see what our open community will do with the latest in advanced vehicle technology,” said Local Motors CEO and co-founder John B. Rogers, Jr.