Public Transportation

Olli – Autonomous Electric Shuttle

Olli is an autonomous electric shuttle that can carry up to 8 passengers at a time in a climate-controlled cabin. The vehicle is integrated with IBM’s Watson to provide a personalized experience for each rider. Olli has a maximum range of 33 miles, a maximum speed of 25 mph, and a charge time of 4 hours. Robotic Research provides the autonomy software and hardware to the vehicle manufacturer, Local Motors. The Robotic Research Autonomous Applique (A-Kit) on their platform, which provides the automation required for operating in vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Olli vehicles are currently being deployed in many cities around the world.

Public Roadway Demonstrations – Maryland DOT Highly Automated Vehicle.

The Maryland Department of Transportation, through their Highly Automated Vehicles (HAV) program, has issued a HAV testing permit to Robotic Research, LLC. The HAV permit is for Robotic Research to perform demonstration testing of the Olli vehicle for Robotic Research employees and guests in Clarksburg, on a ½ mile stretch of Gateway Center Drive in between their two properties on Gateway Center Drive, and the private road at Comsat Drive.

In addition to MDOT and Robotic Research, agency leaders from Montgomery County government, law enforcement, fire/EMS, and transportation/public works extensively reviewed the permit request, discussed safety issues (the vehicle, site, proposed route, traffic impacts on area, etc.), and implemented appropriate restrictions/limitations to the HAV permit. The HAV permit was approved with contingencies for:

  1. Proper signage indicating an automated vehicle testing zone;
  2. Vehicle marking indicating a slow-moving vehicle;
  3. Testing limited to 10am-3pm;
  4. Monthly reporting including safety data and community feedback received;
  5. Community notification, including the distribution of an informational flyer providing a contact phone number and email address, in the immediate area along the route.

Robotic Research has a partnership with Local Motors to support the manufacture of the Olli vehicle, which has been testing on public roadways at National Harbor since the beginning of 2019. Prior to that, it was tested in several other settings on private and public roadways. The Olli was approved for demonstration testing by MDOT MVA at National Harbor after more than two years of collaboration and information gathering on the technology and the vehicle’s capabilities and safety redundancies. The review included validating safety operator licenses, insurance requirements, safety standards, previous satisfactory testing, proper training and use of safety operators; and a commitment to permit restrictions, and testing and crash reporting requirements.

While Olli is an autonomous vehicle, a safety attendant will be on board at all times to take control of the vehicle if necessary.

  • The shuttle will operate between 10am and 3pm, Monday through Friday.
  • The shuttle will operate at an maximum speed of 25mph, with average speed of 15mph.
  • The shuttle will make an average of 5 round trips per day.
  • The shuttle will operate until 2/28/2020, when the HAV program will be re-evaluated by Montgomery County. At this time, the project will conclude, or Robotic Research will be issued a new HAV permit to continue operations for another finite project period.

For more information, please contact:
(240) 631-0008, please ask for HAV Program Manager