Local Motors Partners, AAA Northern California, CCTA test first, last mile solution

Oct. 17, 2019
The group is testing a 3D printed, self-driving shuttle at GoMentum Station.

Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and AAA Northern California are working with Local Motors to test an electric, 3D printed, autonomous shuttle, Olli, at GoMentum Station as a possible first-and-last-mile solution.

CCTA has plans to deploy it near transit stations around northern California. CCTA says Olli is an environmentally friendly, viable and sustainable transportation option for cities, companies, hospitals, campuses and other locations where people need to move from one place to another. The shuttle features cognitive response technology and sensors, and an obstacle avoidance system. Local Motors and AAA Northern California will continue testing for a year before piloted deployment options are considered in Contra Costa County.

Test engineers at AAA Northern California will challenge Olli on the various GoMentum Station tracks and undergo multiple testing scenarios including intersection crossing, interactions with pedestrians and tunnel driving.

“Driving is unpredictable. Road obstacles, distracted drivers and unpredictable pedestrians make it difficult to anticipate and navigate the road,” said Ignacio Garcia, vice president of autonomous vehicles strategy, AAA Northern California. “That is why we believe it is critical to develop safety criteria and test the safety functions of self-driving vehicles. Since the majority of car crashes are related to human error, self-driving technology has the potential to reduce casualties. We are in a unique position to help public agencies and private companies like Local Motors to develop and test self-driving technology safely before it is deployed on public roads.”

CCTA Executive Director Randy Iwasaki  added, “We are looking forward to learning from the testing that will happen at GoMentum Station, and ultimately being able to offer Contra Costa residents a safe, domestically manufactured, electric, self-driving shuttle as a means of travel to help connect them to transit, medical and employment centers in Contra Costa.”

 GoMentum Station is the largest closed-course testing facility for connected and automated vehicles in the United States, managed and operated by AAA Northern California. Close to San Francisco and Silicon Valley, the facility provides a range of terrain featuring more than 20 miles of paved roadways, close to 50 intersections, as well as overcrossings, tunnels, railroad tracks and a mini city. GoMentum Station also has a partnership with CCTA and helps connect the public sector to new mobility technologies as they’re being developed. GoMentum Station recently opened a new Vehicle to Everything (V2X) lab to test connected technologies. The V2X lab is equipped with advanced traffic signal equipment such as controllers, Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) and Cellular-V2X devices.