The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Motor Vehicle Administration recently granted autonomy and robotic technologies provider Robotic Research LLC permission to operate Local Motors’ Olli autonomous shuttle between its two office locations in Clarksburg, Maryland.
The Olli shuttle is driven by Robotic Research’s AutoDrive technology.
After a thorough review of the technology with Montgomery County government, law enforcement, fire/EMS, and public transportation, MDOT granted Robotic Research a Highly-Automated Vehicle (HAV) permit for the Olli shuttle, which will allow the company to continue its research and testing of autonomous vehicle capabilities and technology directly on a half-mile stretch of public roadway in Montgomery County.
“We are extremely pleased to have such great support from the state of Maryland and Montgomery County to help advance our research in autonomous vehicle development,” says Alberto Lacaze, president of Robotic Research.
“This is a great step forward for innovation in the state of Maryland, and is a great example of the kind of leadership in technology the state is committed to supporting in the private sector.”
The Olli shuttle is equipped with Robotic Research’s AutoDrive autonomy software and hardware, allowing the shuttle to operate safely without a driver. During the testing in Montgomery County, though, a safety operator will be onboard at all times, and will be able to take control of the vehicle if necessary.
Capable of being integrated into a variety of vehicle such as shuttles, trucks and buses, AutoDrive allows these vehicles to operate autonomously in common and complex transportation environments such as corporate campuses, downtown areas and roadways.
Robotic Research notes that all of these functions take place while the vehicle is gathering and analyzing data to “better enhance the future of autonomous vehicles and local transportation.”