Jan 4, 2018 | By Tess

Local Motors, the Arizona-based company known for its 3D printed vehicles, has announced significant financing for its autonomous shuttle bus, Olli. Through partnerships with Florida-based Elite Transportation Services (ETS) and Texas-based Xcelerate, the company says it has secured over $1 billion in financing for its Olli customers.

The 3D printed Olli shuttle has been in the works for some time now, and it has already been taken to the streets in places such as Washington DC, Knoxville, TN, and Germany. The autonomous vehicle was brought into existence through an innovative combination of 3D printing, automotive engineering, and IBM Watson’s AI software.

Now, through collaborations with Elite Parking Services subsidiary ETS and auto financing solutions firm Xcelerate, Local Motors has made its already appealing Olli shuttle even more enticing to clients.

That is, the company has secured over $1 billion for third party operational support as well as vehicle financing for its clients.

ETS, for its part, has signed an agreement with Local Motors to offer clients an “all-inclusive Olli operational solution,” which features routine maintenance, insurance, warranty service, monitoring, management, operations, and more for the 3D printed shuttle. ETS has also agreed to provide up to $1 billion in financing to Local Motors clients who employ its services.

For clients who already have established partnerships with other transit companies, Local Motors says it will offer the possibility of financing just the autonomous shuttle for up to 84 months so that the client can maintain its relationship with its transit partners.

The financing for the Olli vehicles in this case, will come from a $20 million investment from Xcelerate, which provides financial support for companies and organizations developing sustainable and autonomous transportation solutions.

Local Motors has already established micro-factories in five cities (Phoenix, Arizona; Knoxville, Tennessee; Las Vegas, Nevada; National Harbor, Maryland; and Berlin, Germany) from which it is aiming to manufacture its Olli shuttles in a local, on-demand way.

As many of our readers will already know, 3D printing technologies are a crucial part of enabling this flexible and more sustainable manufacturing ethos. In fact, according to Local Motors, 3D printing has allowed it to reduce tooling costs for the Olli shuttle by 50 per cent and to cut back on overall production times by up to 90 per cent.

Moreover, because the autonomous vehicles are made-to-order, Olli customers can have their autonomous vehicles adapted and customized (to a degree) to fit their specific needs. Now, with the additional financing options for the autonomous shuttle, Local Motors is sure to draw in more prospective clients.



Posted in 3D Printer Company



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