An eight-passenger self-driving shuttle bus is taking invited guests on a 1.3-mile course around National Harbor, and is set to go into operation at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall later this month. See video and photos.
A self-driving shuttle bus is at National Harbor and is coming to Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.
Olli is an eight-passenger box on wheels. Once a human drives it to its route’s starting point, it goes autonomous, guided by LIDAR, radar and GPS. (For now, the human “safety steward” remains on board as a backup.)
“Olli is a self-driving, low-speed, 3D-printed, connected, electric shuttle,” said David Woessner, a vice president of LM Industries, the parent company of Local Motors, which makes Olli. “Some people say it’s shaped like a lovely toaster.”
“It’s going to stop at stop signs like it’s supposed to. It’s going to obey traffic laws like it’s supposed to. It’s going to let pedestrians cross at intersections when it’s supposed to,” Woessner said.
Right now, Olli is only driving invited guests on a 1.3-mile course around National Harbor, but the plan is to extend the route to go throughout National Harbor and to allow the public to begin riding it.
It’s set to go into operation at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall on June 19, although it’s not yet clear who will be able to ride it there.
The shuttle is expected to be at the base for about three months.
John Aaron is a news anchor and reporter for WTOP. After starting his professional broadcast career as an anchor and reporter for WGET and WGTY in Gettysburg, PA, he went on to spend several years in the world of sports media, working for Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network Radio, and WTOP sports.