Local Motors Debuts Autonomous IBM Watson-Based Olli Bus [w/Video]

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.



  • Six Thousand Times

    Clever bit of design. I’d have one too many and head home in one of these. Or go from terminal to parking…

  • BqWsRe

    IBM, idiot writer!

    Why are writers so dumb these days? Not like IBM is one of the largest companies on the planet or that tons of people know what Watson is.

    Online search that hard?

    • BqWsRe

      Great American company with an awesome CEO.

  • europeon

    IMB’s Watson


    Maybe you should too go find another job.

  • Donald Ducko

    So this is really what we’re going to do? Eliminate jobs? No more bus drivers? You can raise a family of four and put kids through college AND most important fund a retirement for that driver on a bus driver’s salary. Each of these buses represents a major loss of income and probably increased dependency on government for what? Do we really need a self driving bus with 7 billion people on earth???

    And what happens when a fight breaks out? A rape? A naked man gets on? I suppose you can press a button and wait 10 mins for cops to show up. How comforting.

    It’s funny they are eliminating people which there is no shortage of, but disease, starvation, etc they don’t give a crap about. Oh well. Keep walking to raise money. Or buying pink crap. Giving to Jerry’s kids (what did he do with all that money?!) Nobody knows where any of this money is going we donate – more money than ever and not a cure for anything in sight , but doesn’t it feel good? Make sure you buy that bottle of 5 hour energy so they can give a portion of the money to charity. How nice. A PORTION. Tax write off. Advertising. Wake up people. And why is there even a fund for wounded special forces? That’s what I pay taxes for so the VA can give them whatever they need. How it should work.

    The future will suck. It sucks now.

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