LAS VEGAS, N.V. (June 16, 2016) – Today, at the launch of Local Motor’s Olli self-driving vehicle, a partnership was announced between the company, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), and the Nevada Center for Advanced Mobility (NCAM) to demonstrate the real-world driving capabilities of Olli self-driving vehicles in Las Vegas beginning in the fourth quarter of 2016, on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

Since the Governor’s announcement in January of this year to establish NCAM and promote the electric, connected and autonomous vehicle industry in Nevada, stakeholders have come together to get the first pilot project under this initiative moving in Las Vegas. The intent of this project is a phased approach to demonstrate the safety, reliability, and effectiveness of self-driving vehicles for public use cases in the City of Las Vegas. The progressive project will start small on the UNLV campus, and once this initial phase proves to be safe and effective, the intent would then be to scale the fleet to other public first and last mile applications in Las Vegas.

“Nevada is the cradle of innovation to many of the new and emerging advanced technologies that are beginning to reshape the future of transportation,” said Governor Brian Sandoval. “Self-driving vehicles are part of a portfolio of new transportation options which are changing our approach to transit and travel. I’m proud to see so many local government partners share in this exciting announcement and look forward to the advancement of this partnership with Local Motors.”

“Olli offers a smart, safe and sustainable transportation solution that is long overdue,” John B. Rogers, Jr., CEO and Co-Founder of Local Motors said. “Olli with Watson acts as our entry into the world of self-driving vehicles, something we’ve been quietly working on with our co-creative community for the past year. We are now ready to accelerate the adoption of this technology and apply it to nearly every vehicle in our current portfolio and those in the very near future. I’m thrilled to see what our open community will do with the latest in advanced vehicle technology.” Meet Olli

“With all levels of government aggressively working to find ways to say ‘yes’ to industries helping to define the New Nevada, this partnership is the culmination of a series of discussions about how Las Vegas’ unique global connectivity, profile, and responsiveness could assist in the development of the world’s foremost innovative industry,” said Steve Hill, Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.  “Not only is the future of the autonomous industry in Nevada, but so too are the jobs that it will create.”

“We are glad to see this pilot program in our city and we appreciate the leadership of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development in this area of cutting-edge technology,” said Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman. “We look forward to seeing Olli and how it works here in Las Vegas as it will complement our new innovation district located downtown.”

The collaboration between NCAM and Local Motors is detailed in a Letter of Intent that states the focus on operating the Local Motors Self-Driving Vehicle System will be for business and economic development purposes.  The self-driving vehicle system will be used to:

  • Demonstrate to stakeholders (e.g. clients, regulators, and the public) the capabilities of an autonomous mini-bus system.
  • Pilot the autonomous fleet as a 1st and last mile transit solution while collecting data with UNLV to prove the system’s reliability, safety, and customer acceptance.
  • Provide a test bed for policy, regulations, infrastructure, and business models.
  • Determine suitability for the City of Las Vegas and other applications in Nevada.
  • Co-create via demos and pilots – co-creation is the Local Motors rapid innovation process which engages the global community and strategic partners to work together through online challenges, hackathons, and “Maker” events.
    • UNLV will host and participate in hacker/maker events
    • The outcomes are solutions for scalable applications in Nevada
  • Generate sales contracts of the Local Motors Self-Driving Vehicle System with the intent that Local Motors will produce the vehicles locally in Las Vegas, creating new jobs.

This project’s Nevada stakeholders include: The Governor’s Office of Economic Development; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; City of Las Vegas; Regional Transportation Commission; and Nevada Department of Transportation.

In January 2016, Governor Sandoval announced that GOED would create the Nevada Center for Advanced Mobility (NCAM).  NCAM was formally approved in February through a Knowledge Fund grant to UNLV.  NCAM is a division of the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems.


About the Governor’s Office of Economic Development:

Created during the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) is the result of a collaborative effort between the Nevada Legislature and Governor Brian Sandoval to restructure economic development in the state. GOED’s role is to promote a robust, diversified and prosperous economy in Nevada, to stimulate business expansion and retention, encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, attract new businesses and facilitate community development. More information on the Governor’s Office of Economic Development can be viewed at www.diversifynevada.com.

About Local Motors:

Local Motors designs, builds, and sells unique vehicles using co-creation and direct digital manufacturing.  This allows Local Motors to iterate quickly on hardware and software.  The Local Motors process will be applied in the context of Nevada to allow both parties and local partners to learn and adapt very quickly, resulting in locally-relevant commercialized autonomous transit systems. https://localmotors.com/.

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