Believe it or not, a cool and cute self-driving bus that’s set to change the way human travel and communicate with machines is here. Known as Olli, the self-driving electric minibus burst into the scene on Thursday as it was seen roaming the streets of US capital city, Washington DC.
The vehicle, which is a partnership between Arizona startup Local Motors and IBM’s platform Watson, is capable of carrying up to 12 passengers and is designed as a transportation solution that passengers can call upon through a mobile app just like Uber rides.
As a 3D-printed vehicle, Olli is based on a highly intuitive computer system and a 360° multi-sensory technology that enables it to communicate with passengers, thanks to Watson’s innovation. In essence, you can tell Olli where you’re headed to in a naturally universal language, English. For instance, you can tell the minibus; “I’d like to go home and it won’t kick you out even if you keeping nagging it with, “Am I there yet?”
For now, Olli is exclusive to DC, but will be rolled to other cities such as Miami, Las Vegas, Berlin, Copenhagen and Canberra in the coming months. Even though it sounds like stuff from a sci-fi movie, Olli has arrived, and is surely a transportation technology for the future generation.