Local Motors, maker of the fully autonomous electric shuttle Olli, has apparently gone out of business. This can be taken from entries by employees of the company on the social network Linkedin.
So writes Jeff Hollowell, who has been Deputy Director of IT at Local Motors since 2019, said the company had closed its doors. Chris Stoner, who was responsible for customer service, writes, Local Motors ceased to exist as of today, January 14th. Nothing has been said from Local Motors itself.
Local Motors was founded in 2007 and relied on “crowd power” and open source in its automotive development. With these principles, the company wanted to strive towards the goal of solving local problems locally and making transport more sustainable globally. According to the company, a community of 30,000 designers, manufacturers, engineers and others was involved in the development of vehicles and components. Several companies and other organizations also cooperated with the project, from Germany Siemens.
From Rally Fighter to minibus
The first project was a desert buggy called “Rally Fighter” with a conventional V8 engine. Local Motors may have become known in this country through the autonomous bus Olli, which was developed for company premises and hospitals, military bases and universities. It can transport up to twelve passengers at a maximum speed of 40 km/h. A wireless connection to IBM’s Watson should give the autonomous minibus the necessary intelligence to analyze the data, make decisions and, if necessary, interpret the human speech of the passengers.
The then Federal Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt (CSU) presented the minibus in 2017 in the design of Deutsche Bahn. It was to be used in Bad Birnbach in Lower Bavaria, but the EZ10 minibus from Ligier was then taken there. The Olli 2.0 was supposed to be tackled in February 2021, but after an announcement in October 2020, the new shuttle remained silent.