After the Meran test with the French from Navya, the American Local Motors vehicle starts operating in Turin within the United Nations campus. It will serve for four months and will be accessible to employees and guests until May
We saw it live at the Consumer Electronics Show, the big hi-tech fair in Las Vegas. Now it will take service in Turin, within the United Nations International Training Center (ITC-Ilo). Olli is a small self-driving eight-seater bus, similar to the French Navya model tested in Merano in early December. This time, however, he will operate not for a week, but for four months.
On the bus without driver. “At 25 kilometers per hour we are already in the future”
Olli, built in Arizona by Local Motors, has a particularity that goes beyond autonomous driving: each vehicle is assembled within a single day. Partly because most of the components are 3D printed, partly because of the basic design that has reduced the number of parts suppliers by speeding up operations. It remains an artisan vehicle with a high cost even if in line with the others on the market today, around € 300 thousand, which, however, adopts innovative solutions that overcome one of the major limits of the automotive sector, slow in transforming a project into a real vehicle with cycles that generally take seven years.
A taste of the future, we will see how close, waiting for the costs to drop. The failure to disseminate self-driving vehicles does not only depend on the absence of regulations (which in any case the EU has put in place) or on the lack of propensity for countries like ours to experiment, but also on the now prohibitive price of vehicles.