Local Motors, the leading vehicle technology integrator and creator of the world’s first 3D-printed cars, recently introduced the first self-driving vehicle to integrate the advanced cognitive computing capabilities of IBM Watson.

Olli self-driving vehicle
Olli self-driving vehicle, by Local Motors (Photo source: Local Motors)

The electric vehicle, dubbed Olli, can carry up to 12 people and is equipped with some of the world’s most advanced vehicle technology, including IBM Watson Internet of Things (IoT) for Automotive, to improve the passenger experience and allow natural interaction with the vehicle.

Olli is the first vehicle to utilize the cloud-based cognitive computing capability of IBM Watson IoT to analyze and learn from high volumes of transportation data, produced by more than 30 sensors embedded throughout the vehicle.Using the Local Motors open vehicle development process, sensors will be added and adjusted continuously as passenger needs and local preferences are identified. Furthermore, the platform leverages four Watson developer APIs — Speech to Text, Natural Language Classifier, Entity Extraction and Text to Speech — to enable seamless interactions between the vehicle and passengers.

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. Watson empowers Olli to understand and respond to passengers’ questions as they enter the vehicle, including about destinations (“Olli, can you take me downtown?”) or specific vehicle functions (“how does this feature work?” or even “are we there yet?”). Passengers can also ask for recommendations on local destinations such as popular restaurants or historical sites based on analysis of personal preferences. These interactions with Olli are designed to create more pleasant, comfortable, intuitive and interactive experiences for riders as they journey in autonomous vehicles.

Olli will be used on public roads locally in Washington, DC, and Miami-Dade County is exploring a pilot program in which several autonomous vehicles would be used to transport people around Miami.

>Read more from the IBM News Room, June 16, 2016


Local Motors Debuts "Olli", the First Self-driving Vehicle to Tap the Power of IBM Watson