Olli is coming!
Mayor Madeline Rogero, Visit Knoxville President Kim Bumpas and Greg Haye, GM of Local Motors Knoxville Micro-Factory, announced today that a self-driving passenger shuttle will be coming to town in the near future.
Olli is a self-driving, cognitive, fully electric vehicle created and manufactured by Local Motors, a Knoxville-based technology company that designs, builds and sells vehicles. Visit Knoxville will roll out Olli this fall on a limited basis for events at venues including World’s Fair Park and Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center. During this testing phase, a Local Motors operator will be aboard the vehicle.
“This is amazing technology and one that we are proud to have debuting in Knoxville,” Bumpas said. “The fact that we will be able to offer this to our conventions and visitors might just be a game changer for our city.”
“Knoxville is home to leading transportation innovators, and it is exciting that we will get to share some of their work with the public,” Mayor Rogero said. “Thanks to Local Motors and Olli, we could be the city where many people ride their in first self-driving vehicle.”
“Tennessee is one of the first eight states to allow driverless cars on public roads. Knoxville is the town in which Local Motors 3D printed its first car,” said Local Motors CEO John B. Rogers Jr. “3D printing unlocks vehicle makers of the future to adopt technologies of the future faster than ever before. Therefore, it is no surprise that Knoxville, Local Motors and Tennessee would see Olli on the road first."
Olli drives itself using sensors and cameras and can carry up to 12 passengers. Local Motors says Olli can react faster than a driving human. Because it is electric, it has the promise of reduced carbon emissions and noise pollution.
Visit Knoxville plans to make Olli available for conventions and paid tours of the city in late 2018. Olli will make its Knoxville debut this September during Innov865 Week, which celebrates Knoxville’s entrepreneurial spirit by bringing together startups, entrepreneurs and the East Tennessee community for a week of educational panels, pitch competitions, investor roundtables, and social events.