Autonomous shuttle Olli is expanding its testing in National Harbor - Technical.ly DC

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Oct. 24, 2019 1:34 pm

Autonomous shuttle Olli is expanding its testing in National Harbor

Local Motors teamed up with the Maryland Department of Transportation to expand the current 1.5-mile deployment track for Olli onto public roads.
Olli, the self-driving, 3D-printed shuttle.

Olli, the self-driving, 3D-printed shuttle.

(Photo via @localmotors on Twitter)

Motor vehicle manufacturing company Local Motors is teaming up with the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to expand the testing of its two autonomous shuttles, called Olli, in National Harbor.

Based in Arizona, Local Motors has an office in the National Harbor area, the waterfront development in Maryland’s Prince George’s County.

Olli first hit the District streets in 2016. The self-driving vehicles seat 14 people, with a top speed of 25 miles per hour. Over the summer, two Olli vehicles were deployed at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, Virginia.

The Maryland government granted Local Motors a permit to expand its current 1.5-mile deployment track for Olli onto public roads on the outskirts of National Harbor. While collecting insights about its travels, local residents, employees and tourists can sign up to ride the vehicles from harbor attractions and commerce centers.

The autonomous vehicles will operate Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those interested in riding Olli can register online, and you must sign a waiver to participate.

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The motor company said in a press release that this expansion will help provide solutions to Maryland’s traffic congestion challenges, accessibility and environmental concerns like pollution.

“Our goal at Local Motors is to create and deliver safe and accessible mobility solutions for local communities,” said Vikrant Aggarwal, president of Local Motors. “By completing ‘real-world’ testing on public roads in National Harbor, we’re compiling the data needed to ensure that Olli meets consumer needs and desires in all scenarios.”

Some of that data-collection includes the autonomous vehicle’s interactions with pedestrians and intersection crossing.

Earlier this week, Sen. Chris Van Hollen visited Local Motors’ local facility, in support of the Olli expansion and to learn more about efforts to create alternative, sustainable and accessible modes of transportation.

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