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Local Motors and IBM Unveil First Self-Driven Bus

Meet Olli: The First Auto-Driven Mini Bus

Arizona based startup, Local Motors, recently unveiled world’s first self-driving mini bus Olli in the US. IBM is involved with providing technical support to Olli’s interface. The bus is doing its trial runs in Maryland right now and is expected to be tested in Las Vegas and Miami soon.

So What is Olli?

Olli is a self-driving mini bus that has been designed by Local Motors using 3D printing technology. Company Co-founder & CEO John Rogers claims that it has a capacity of carrying 12 people and if it is approved for commercial use, one would soon be able to order a ride just like Uber.

Olli is using IBM’s cognitive AI, Watson, IBM’s cognitive voice-enabled software which enables customers to directly talk to Olli. One can just tell Olli one’s destination and it will take them directly there. One can even ask questions to Olli like, “How much more time?”, “Which route are you taking?”, “Why this route?”, etc. Real drivers seldom entertain so many questions, right?

While Walter provides a strong and easy-to-use interface, IBM’s cloud service streams live data to Olli to help navigate through traffic and multiple routes. The bus also uses its 30 integrated sensors while driving to ensure a smooth ride.

Olli can even drive you around to popular destinations like hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing. Your word is its command, quite literally.

Behind the Design

Olli is an indigenous design by Local Motors. The startup claims that the design can be customized as per the customer’s requirements and can be built using 3D printers in mere 10 hours.  The company also plans on setting up micro-plants all over the world for manufacturing in near future.

All in all, Olli can truly revolutionize the way we travel.


  • Local Motors is a startup that has built world’s first self-driven bus, Olli.
  • Olli is a 12-seater and uses IBM’s cognitive AI, Walter to converse with the passengers.
  • You can ask Olli all kinds of travel related questions by just speaking to it.
  • Olli’s components are manufactured using 3D printers and one mini-bus can be made and assembled in a mere 10 hours’ time.

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Startup-Buzz Team

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Startup-buzz Team is a collaborative group of entrepreneurs, researchers, writers and experienced professionals. Tied up together to bring the latest Startup Buzz going around the globe.

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