Meet Olli: The Self-Driving, Electric Bus Powered by IBM Watson
This is Olli. Olli is a bus. But Olli’s not just any bus,
he’s it’s a self-driving, fully-electric bus of the future, partially powered by the IBM Watson AI system and created by Phoenix-based Local Motors.
Able to seat (or stand) 12 passengers, Olli is currently taking to the streets of Washington D.C., and will be hitting Miami-Dade County, Las Vegas, and Denmark by the end of the year. Power comes courtesy of an electric motor with a range of 32.4 miles in the city, and a top speed of just 12 mph.
But speed and power isn’t Olli’s forte. Using IBM Watson, the bus is able to communicate naturally with its passengers, says the company. “The IBM capabilities of Olli will help improve the passenger experience and allow natural interaction with the vehicle.”
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Using four of Watson’s API systems—Speech to Text, Natural Language Classifier, Entity Extraction, and Text to Speech—the system is able to interact with passengers, and quickly track down any locations and information through cloud-based cognitive computing, like that new fro-yo place you've been dying to try.
With a potential for huge success, Local Motors hopes to roll out even more Ollis in the future, and not just in the U.S. Berlin, Copenhagen, and Canberra are all on the short list to get their own Ollis as well.
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