Jacksonville adopts first Olli v2

  • September 23, 2020
  • William Payne

The first second generation Olli autonomous vehicle has been delivered to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority of Florida. The Olli 2.0 is the second generation electric, autonomous and 3D-printed shuttle developed and manufactured by Local Motors of Phoenix, Arizona, and supported by Robotic Research LLC of Maryland.

The Olli 2.0 was delivered to Jacksonville in late August through a partnership with Beep, a Florida-based autonomous Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) provider. The vehicle is Local Motor’s first electric, autonomous, 3D-printed shuttle to be built in the United States. It will lead the next phase of the JTA’s Test & Learn activities at Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Cecil Center Campus and the JTA’s Armsdale Test & Learn facilities.

This is the fifth autonomous vehicle the JTA has tested since it launched its Ultimate Urban Circulator programme in 2017. The U²C programme aims to transform and modernise the existing Skyway APM system in central Jacksonville to support autonomous vehicles and related technologies. The multi-phase programme includes the full conversion of the existing Skyway infrastructure and neighbourhood expansions through ground-level connections, creating a 10-mile urban transit network.

“When we first announced our plan to retire the Skyway trains and replace them with autonomous vehicles, the JTA set the goal to keep up with the latest advancements. Receiving the first Olli 2.0 shuttle in the United States is proof of that commitment,” said JTA Chief Executive Officer, Nathaniel P. Ford Sr.  “The delivery of the Olli 2.0 at our Test & Learn track marks the next step in shaping the future of public transportation– not just in Jacksonville, but nationally.”

Beep’s relationship as an autonomous shuttle service provider to the JTA’s Test & Learn programme and a recent supplier agreement with Local Motors enabled the integration of the Olli 2.0 with the JTA’s existing Test and & Learn programme. Beep aims to ensure the smooth, safe and seamless operation of the Olli 2.0 in Jacksonville and, with Robotic Research, will support the team in extending its knowledge of evolving AV technologies.

“Beep, Local Motors and Robotic Research are each uniquely positioned to design, develop and deploy custom solutions that best meet the needs of their customers. We’re confident our partnership will present the most advanced autonomous platforms to JTA as they explore the options available to support the transformation of mobility in downtown Jacksonville,” said Joe Moye, CEO of Beep.

“Deploying the first Olli 2.0 in the US is a huge milestone for Local Motors and supports our mission to provide autonomous, accessible and connected mobility for all,” said Vikrant Aggarwal, president of Local Motors. “The JTA Ultimate Urban Circulator is an innovative project, and this deployment will showcase the proven benefits of Olli at a time when autonomous mobility solutions are needed now more than ever. We have worked very closely with Beep since recently announcing our strategic partnership in July, and we hope that this deployment is the first of many in the months to come.”

Local Motors’ Olli 2.0 is equipped with Robotic Research’s AutoDrive Autonomy kit, which provides driver-warning, driver-assist and connected autonomous functionality in urban, mixed-traffic roadways as well as campus environments, utilising V2X technologies. Robotic Research’s nSight® family of products provide an end-to-end data collection-to-analysis pipeline to better enhance the future of autonomous vehicles and transportation.

“The AutoDrive solution we’re deploying with Local Motors and Beep blends decades of experience and cutting-edge innovation to provide versatile autonomous performance, which is essential to meeting our customer’s ambitious and innovative goals,” said Alberto Lacaze, president of Robotic Research.