JTA receives first Olli 2.0 autonomous vehicle in the U.S.

Sept. 16, 2020
This is the sixth autonomous vehicle the JTA has tested since it launched its Ultimate Urban Circulator program in 2017.

Olli 2.0, the autonomous vehicle from Beep, Local Motors by LM Industries and Robotic Research LLC, has entered the Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s (JTA) Test & Learn Program.  

The Olli 2.0 was delivered to Jacksonville in late August through a partnership with Beep, Local Motors by LM Industries and Robotic Research LLC. This is Local Motor’s first electric, autonomous, 3D-printed shuttle to be built in the United States. It will lead the next phase of the JTA’s Test & Learn activities at Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Cecil Center Campus and the JTA’s Armsdale Test & Learn facilities. 

This is the sixth autonomous vehicle the JTA has tested since it launched its Ultimate Urban Circulator program in 2017. The U2C program will transform and modernize the existing Skyway APM system in downtown Jacksonville to support autonomous vehicles and related technologies. The multi-phase program includes the full conversion of the existing Skyway infrastructure and neighborhood expansions through ground-level connections, creating a 10-mile urban transit network. 

“When we first announced our plan to retire the Skyway trains and replace them with autonomous vehicles, the JTA set the goal to keep up with the latest advancements. Receiving the first Olli 2.0 shuttle in the United States is proof of that commitment,” said JTA CEO Nathaniel P. Ford, Sr.  “The delivery of the Olli 2.0 at our Test & Learn track marks the next step in shaping the future of public transportation– not just in Jacksonville, but nationally.” 

Beep’s long-standing relationship as an autonomous shuttle service provider to the JTA’s Test & Learn program and a recent supplier agreement with Local Motors enabled the integration of the Olli 2.0 with the JTA’s existing Test and & Learn program. Beep will ensure the smooth, safe and seamless operation of the Olli 2.0 in Jacksonville and, with Robotic Research, will support the team in extending its knowledge of evolving AV technologies. 

“Beep, Local Motors and Robotic Research are each uniquely positioned to design, develop and deploy custom solutions that best meet the needs of their customers. We’re confident our partnership will present the most advanced autonomous platforms to JTA as they explore the options available to support the transformation of mobility in downtown Jacksonville,” said Joe Moye, CEO of Beep. 

“Deploying the first Olli 2.0 in the U.S. is a huge milestone for Local Motors and supports our mission to provide autonomous, accessible and connected mobility for all,” said Vikrant Aggarwal, president of Local Motors. “The JTA Ultimate Urban Circulator is an innovative project, and this deployment will showcase the proven benefits of Olli at a time when autonomous mobility solutions are needed now more than ever. We have worked very closely with Beep since recently announcing our strategic partnership in July, and we hope that this deployment is the first of many in the months to come.” 

Local Motors’ Olli 2.0 is equipped with Robotic Research's AutoDrive® Autonomy kit, which provides driver-warning, driver-assist and connected autonomous functionality in urban, mixed-traffic roadways as well as campus environments, utilizing V2X technologies. Robotic Research's nSight® family of products provide an end-to-end data collection-to-analysis pipeline to better enhance the future of autonomous vehicles and transportation. 

“We’re honored to demonstrate the safety and performance of our AutoDrive autonomy kit for the JTA,” said Alberto Lacaze, president of Robotic Research. “The solution we’re deploying with Local Motors and Beep blends decades of experience and cutting-edge innovation to provide versatile autonomous performance, which is essential to meeting our customer’s ambitious and innovative goals.”