Will you ride a 3D-printed, self-driving bus?

  • Local Motors and IBM collaborated to create a self-driving 3D printed bus called Olli
  • Olli is equipped with IBM’s Watson supercomputer and can interact with passenger
  • It has debuted in Washington D.C., and will come to Miami and Las Vegas later this year

We might be seeing the future of commuting sooner than we thought. Meet Olli, a 3D printed self-driving bus brought by the collaboration of IBM and Local Motors.

Olli is equipped with IBM’s Watson cognitive car-learning technology, IBM Watson Internet of Things (IoT) for Automotive, which makes it fully autonomous and it’s ready to dominate the roads in Washington D.C., Miami, and Las Vegas in the coming months, as per an article published by Inquirer.

The 12-seater driver-less bus recently debuted at the National Harbor in Washington D.C. with  Local Motors CEO John Rogers and vehicle designer Edgar Sarmiento as its first passengers.

“Olli offers a smart, safe and sustainable transportation solution that is long overdue,” Rogers 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.”

Thanks to Olli’s Watson supercomputer, passengers can interact with the bus while travelling and discuss topics about where they are going, why Olli is making specific driving decisions, and even make restaurant recommendations.

Not entirely sold of its safety? Local Motors claims that Olli uses 30 sensors that gives it a 360-degree view of the road, enabling it to make driving decisions “hundreds of times faster” than humans, as per an article published by Yahoo.

By the time this technology is widespread, Local Motors is planning to further improve its service by making Olli available through an app, just like Uber.