Manassas drone maker RapidFlight acquires Local Motors IP

Drone maker RapidFlight has acquired Local Motors. (Courtesy RapidFlight)

Manassas, Virginia-based drone maker RapidFlight has acquired the intellectual property rights from bankrupt autonomous vehicle maker Local Motors for an undisclosed sum.

The Phoenix-based Local Motors shut down in March 2022.

RapidFlight, founded in 2021, builds high-performance drones for national security and private sector needs.

Local Motors was best-known for its 3D printed autonomous-driving people movers, named Olli, and at one time had a showroom at National Harbor in Maryland. The public roads in and around National Harbor were among pilot tests for the shuttle in 2016.

‘Olli,’ a people mover produced by Local Motors. (Courtesy RapidFlight)

The company has also developed a significant intellectual property portfolio, making significant advancements in affordable and practical commercial deployments of manufacturing technologies.

In a news release, RapidFlight CEO Jay Gundlach said, “We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of Local Motors’ IP portfolio, which aligns perfectly with our mission to revolutionize the unmanned aircraft industry through advance additive manufacturing technologies.

“We are bringing cutting-edge technologies from the venture-funded commercial sector to the national security space and delivering products to the Department of Defense with them.”

The acquisition includes patents, designs and engineering expertise, which RapidFlight said will accelerate its product development timelines.

RapidFlight opened its current headquarters and 25,000-square-foot production facility in Manassas last fall.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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