Meet Olli, The Driverless Vehicle Cruising Around National Harbor: DCist
by Rachel Kurzius in News on Jun 16, 2016 4:05 pm
We thought that the parasol-sharing program in Georgetown was the future, but that was before we met Olli—a driverless vehicle equipped with IBM's supercomputer Watson that debuted today at the National Harbor.
Local Motors, a tech company that 3D prints cars, showed off the machine at the grand opening of its new facility in the development. The vehicle, equipped with 30 sensors, gathers data, becoming smarter as it continues to operate. It can tote around 12 people.
"Passengers will be able to interact conversationally with Olli while traveling from point A to point B, discussing topics about how the vehicle works, where they are going, and why Olli is making specific driving decisions," according to a release.
For now, it's sticking around the private roads National Harbor, says Adam Kress, a spokesperson for Local Motors. The developer of the area, Peterson, gave them permission for Olli to operate there, and riders can hop on board throughout the summer.
"Gradually, as Olli gathers data and learns more, we'll expand from the private roads," says Kress. "We want Olli going back and forth between the new MGM." (Too bad they won't be able to help out during SafeTrack's second surge).
Ultimately, Kress says the goal is for Olli to be able to answer questions from riders like, "It's my first time in D.C. What should I do?" For now, there's just one Olli, but the company wants to bring one or two more to National Harbor by the end of the summer.
Later in the year, Local Motors is dispatching other versions of the vehicle to Miami and Las Vegas.
Kress declined to give any figures about the cost of manufacturing Olli, saying that different varieties would have their own price points. For instance, a company could outfit the vehicle as a mobile conference room. "Also, you could have a party Olli, too," says Kress.
Olli isn't meant for private citizens to buy on their own. "It's not really designed for a single person, but to be used as part of a fleet, whether of three or 300," says Kress. The idea is that eventually you'll "hail Olli via an app, hop on, and then hop off."
There's no set schedule yet, so people interested in riding should call or head to Local Motors.