IBM Watson drives 3D-printed autonomous bus around Washington DC

AI used to give rides around US capital in driverless vehicle

IBM has teamed up with an electric vehicle company to put its Watson artificial intelligence into a driverless electric bus.

Dubbed Olli, the autonomous vehicle will be used to take passengers around Washington DC, and is the brainchild of Local Motors, the Arizona-based automaker. It said its bus is the first vehicle to use IBM Watson's car-focused cognitive learning platform, Watson Internet of Things (IoT) for Automotive.

Local Motors unveiled the bus at its new facility in National Harbor, Maryland, 12 miles from the US capital. The bus itself is 3D-printed and can carry up to 12 people and is powered by an electric motor. There are more than 30 sensors integrated into the vehicle to help it get around town.

Using the Local Motors open vehicle development process, sensors will be added and adjusted continuously as passenger needs and local preferences are identified. The bus uses four Watson developer APIs - Speech to Text, Natural Language Classifier, Entity Extraction and Text to Speech - to enable interactions between the vehicle and passengers.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Passengers will be able to talk to the bus, discussing topics about how the vehicle works, where they are going, and why Olli is making specific driving decisions.

The Watson technology will enable Olli to understand and respond to passengers' questions as they enter the vehicle, including about destinations ("Olli, can you take me downtown?") or specific vehicle functions ("how does this feature work?" or even "are we there yet?").

Passengers can also ask for recommendations on local destinations such as popular restaurants or historical sites based on analysis of personal preferences.

Local Motors CEO and co-founder John Rogers said that Olli offered a "smart, safe and sustainable transportation solution that is long overdue".

"Olli with Watson acts as our entry into the world of self-driving vehicles, something we've been quietly working on with our co-creative community for the past year. We are now ready to accelerate the adoption of this technology and apply it to nearly every vehicle in our current portfolio and those in the very near future," he said.

Olli will be available for rides by the public over the summer and Miami-Dade County is said to be exploring a pilot programme in which several autonomous vehicles would be used to transport people around Miami.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Picture courtesy of IBM on Flickr

Featured Resources

How inkjet can transform your business

Get more out of your business by investing in the right printing technology

Download now

Journey to a modern workplace with Office 365: which tools and when?

A guide to how Office 365 builds a modern workplace

Download now

Modernise and transform your sales organisation

Learn how a modernised sales process can drive your business

Download now

Your guide to managing cloud transformation risk

Realise the benefits. Mitigate the risks

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/strategy/27302/driverless-cars-news/page/0/4
Business strategy

Uber car involved in fatal crash had software flaws

6 Nov 2019
Visit/strategy/27302/driverless-cars-news
Business strategy

Uber car involved in fatal crash had software flaws

6 Nov 2019
Visit/strategy/27302/driverless-cars-news/page/0/3
Business strategy

Uber car involved in fatal crash had software flaws

6 Nov 2019
Visit/strategy/27302/driverless-cars-news/page/0/1
Business strategy

Uber car involved in fatal crash had software flaws

6 Nov 2019

Most Popular

Visit/cloud/cloud-computing/354767/google-cloud-snaps-up-multi-cloud-analytics-platform-for-26bn
cloud computing

Google Cloud snaps up multi-cloud analytics platform for $2.6bn

13 Feb 2020
Visit/mobile/28299/how-to-use-chromecast-without-wi-fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020
Visit/operating-systems/27717/how-to-fix-a-stuck-windows-10-update
operating systems

How to fix a stuck Windows 10 update

12 Feb 2020
Visit/security/cyber-attacks/354747/apple-mac-malware-detections-overtake-windows-the-first-time
cyber attacks

Apple Mac malware detections overtake Windows the first time

11 Feb 2020