The adoption of the first 100% autonomous vehicles is slow and deployments are still drip-free. Some transport services are trying the adventure, in particular by deploying a few autonomous Navya shuttles on limited routes protected from traffic. The American Local Motors, which unveiled its Olli shuttle in 2016, wants to accelerate the movement in 2018. This champion of 3D printing and Open Innovation has just raised $1 billion from several partners to help municipalities and businesses take the plunge.
A step towards the autonomous “as a service” vehicle?
Whether it is the ARMA of Navya, Easymile’s ez10 or the Dutch 2getthere shuttles, it has to be said that the 100% autonomous fleet of vehicles actually deployed in the cities remains very modest.
These autonomous shuttles of less than 10 seats are struggling to impose themselves in front of the buses, subways and various means of transport made available to the inhabitants by the municipalities and the first deployments are more of a demonstration than a public service.
Local Motors, which is looking for the first customers for its Olli shuttle, has joined forces with ETS (Elite Transportation Services), a subsidiary of Elite Parking Services. This company provides valet services throughout the United States and the objective of the partners is to offer a turnkey service to cities or companies that will want to provide a transport service with the U. S. Autonomous Vehicle. They will provide a complete transportation service but also the financing of Olli with a credit line of about a billion dollars! Added to these partners was the Xcelerate company in Texas, a leasing company that is adding $20 million to the pool.
Will this approach of the autonomous vehicle “as a Service” allow the autonomous shuttles to take off?
Source: “Local Motors Secures Over $1 Billion In Financing For Olli Customers”, Local Motors press release, 2 January 2018
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator