During the Grand Opening of a new Local Motors facility in National Harbor, Md., the company unveiled Olli – a self-driving, 3-D printed electric car made with CFRP. According to Local Motors, it is “the first self-driving vehicle to integrate the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of IBM Watson.”
Specifically, it utilizes the computing capability of IBM Watson’s Internet of Things (IoT) to analyze and learn from high volumes of transportation data, produced by more than 30 sensors embedded throughout the vehicle.
“Olli offers a smart, safe and sustainable transportation solution that is long overdue,” Local Motors CEO and co-founder John B. Rogers, Jr. said. “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.”
According to Local Motors, the CFRP used for the vehicle is 80 percent acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and 20 percent carbon fiber. The company adds that between a quarter and a third of the vehicle was 3-D printed, including the shape that was used to create the mold for Olli.
In order to 3-D print Olli, Local Motors used the same process as it did for its LM3D Swim, the world’s first 3-D printed car series that has made its rounds on Capitol Hill and is also stationed in the company’s new National Harbor facility.
As of June 16, Olli has been used on public roads locally in DC, and late in 2016 it will be used in Dade County, Miami and Las Vegas. According to The Washington Post, there will eventually be a charge to ride on Olli, but not initially during pilot runs because the service won’t be offered on a set schedule.