Innovation That Matters

Self-driving, 3D printed bus can be hailed with an app


Local Motor's latest creation is Olli, the first 3D printed, driverless, electric bus, which can be summoned by an app for flexibility in shared transport.

Last year, Local Motors debuted their infinitely recyclable, 3D printed car. Now, seeking to sustainably revolutionize the transport industry by removing the need for vast factories and rigid public transport schedules, the team has created Olli, the world’s first 3D printed, driverless and electric shuttle bus.

To get a ride, users hail the 12-seat bus via an app. Designed to be 3D printed in 10 hours by local shops or microfactories, Olli can be assembled by small teams in one hour. Routes are flexible and overseen by a central operation center, and data gathered via sensors on the vehicle allow for continuous development and adjustment as local needs and preferences are identified. To make the experience of driverless travel as personable as possible, Olli uses IBM’s Watson for interactions with passengers. Watson enables passengers to ask questions about Olli’s driving decisions, request specific destinations and even discuss local landmarks. Launching in three US locations — Florida, Las Vegas, and Washington, DC — Olli is already generating interest in cities from more than 50 countries.


Other projects that we’ve seen working to sustainably improve public transport include apps that pay commuters to take the bus or less crowded routes. How else can city transport be made more sustainable?



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