Local Motors, a Tempe-based organization, is taking an entirely new angle on autonomous cars.
Local Motors began as a custom car company at Tempe, Arizona in 2007, creating cars like ‘The Rally Fighter’ which appeared in “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”
According to Local Motors, the Accessible Olli is the world’s first cognitive, self-driving vehicle. Its sleek, cubic and tall design intentionally appears as if it belongs in 2030.
“Olli is an autonomous first-and-last-mile vehicle,” Local Motors Executive Vice President Matthew Rivet said. Accessible Olli acts as a shuttle to get riders to and from primary transportation methods, such as airports and light rail stops.
“Everywhere there are these big, large-scale efforts to move people from one place to another. The reality is some people can’t get to those areas. Our ultimate goal is to provide a flexible transportation option for those who need it,” Matthew Rivet said.
A program like this could do wonders for the disability community. “Having reliable transportation like that would open up doors and roads for people with mobility issues,” John Smith, a person with disabilities said.
In creating Accessible Olli, Local Motors has had to figure out how to provide the same accessibility as current public transportation without having a driver on board to assist.
“We need to have a vision of what is feasible now and in the future,” Vice President of Product Management, Jeff Haye said.
The Accessible Olli program currently has many products in development, many of which were on display at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
It is yet to be determined when Accessible Olli’s features will be on the road, but Haye said Local Motors plans on testing the accessibility features on pre-commercialized vehicles as soon as next year. In the meantime, Local Motors plans on having manual ramps at stations to assist in accessibility.”
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