- Sacramento State University has launched an autonomous shuttle pilot for students, according to the Sacramento Bee.
- The Olli shuttles, made by California-based Local Motors, will be made of 3D-printed parts and will accommodate eight riders at a time. The vehicle uses LiDAR, radar, cameras and GPS to navigate, but will also have a safety attendant with control over an emergency brake.
- The trial will include two Ollis running on a pre-set loop through campus for 90 days.
Sacramento State is the latest college campus to test autonomous shuttles, following an announcement that the University of South Florida would run a one-week trial on its campus. Autonomous shuttle are also being tested as microtransit options in cities like Detroit, Las Vegas and Austin, TX, and in mixed-use developments in areas like Reston, VA. The shuttles have potential to move riders around various downtown and suburban environments, but most companies and governments are still in the data collection phase.
That’s the main appeal of the Sacramento State pilot, which is designed to give Local Motors insight into how their vehicles work on a campus environment. The pilot costs $100,000 to implement, of which $90,000 came from the Sacramento Area Council of Governments and $10,000 from the university.
Ghazan Khan, a civil engineering professor who chairs the university’s Transportation Advisory Committee, told the Sacramento Bee that his students will also work with the Ollis. Of particular interest is how the shuttles work on a campus where there are a lot of obstacles, like students walking, biking and skateboarding, as well as some less expected possible obstacles like squirrels.