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You are here: Home / Automotive Tech / Watson-Powered Driverless Vehicle
New Driverless Vehicle Olli Is Watson-Powered
New Driverless Vehicle Olli Is Watson-Powered
By Dan Heilman / CRM Daily Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
While most new cars come with interactive features such as voice recognition, those capabilities are often rudimentary at best and far from intuitive or comprehensive. But one new vehicle is aiming to redefine what it means to talk to your Relevant Products/Services and get it to do what you want it to.

Working with IBM, Arizona-based automaker Local Motors recently debuted Olli, a self-driving electric vehicle that is powered by IBM’s Watson technology platform.

With Watson under the hood (or in the circuitry), the car is powerful and smart enough to have helpful conversations with the driver and up to 12 of its passengers. Rather than obeying various generic commands -- such as taking the owner home or calling a pre-programmed phone number -- the Olli can answer in-depth questions about its own inner workings. The vehicle can take the driver to a popular restaurant based on an analysis of that individual's personal preferences. Olli can even answer that age-old question, "Are we there yet?"

Moving Sensors

Olli does all that with the help of four application programming interfaces (APIs): speech to text; natural language classifier; entity extraction; and text to speech. It uses those APIs in conjunction with the cloud-based cognitive computing of IBM Watson IoT -- a combination that enables the vehicle to quickly come up with virtually any piece of information its driver or passengers might want.

Named after IBM’s first CEO, Thomas J. Watson, the company’s Watson technology is a question-answering computer system that can answer questions asked in natural language. It was originally developed to answer questions on the TV game show "Jeopardy" and a business group around the technology was formed in 2014. Watson’s clinical decision support capabilities have already been used in medical applications and other businesses.

IBM Watson IoT can analyze and learn from high volumes of transportation data that are produced by more than 30 sensors embedded in various areas throughout a vehicle. Using what Local Motors calls an open vehicle development process, sensors will be added and adjusted on a continuous basis as the vehicle identifies passengers' needs and local preferences.

Public Showcase

Olli made its debut on public roads in Washington, D.C., yesterday, and will begin operating in Las Vegas later this year. Also, Miami-Dade County in Florida is currently developing a pilot program that would use a group of Ollis for public transportation.

As part of Olli's debut, Local Motors opened a new facility in Maryland this week that will serve as both a display area and a place for public input on Local Motors’ products. The company's 3D-printed cars are on display there, along with a large-scale 3D printer and an interactive co-creative display. STEM-centered (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programming is being developed for the facility to give visitors a chance to learn about 3D printing, sustainability, autonomous technology.

Tell Us What You Think


Brian Gilbert:
Posted: 2016-06-17 @ 1:04pm PT
What is the cost by the thousand for countries thinking of going completely driverless?

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