The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) covered the grounds of Chicago’s McCormick Place once again. IMTS takes over the city’s convention center every two years, bringing forth the latest in manufacturing technology. Each floor of the convention center’s four buildings were occupied with machining, additive manufacturing, CAD-CAM, EDM a host of other equipment and demonstrations, and over 120,000 attendees. However, the most anticipated attraction was the #IMTSRideExperience provided by Olli, the world’s first co-created, self-driving, low-speed, electric shuttle.
A pod of Olli arrived a few days ahead of the show in preparation for the passengers they would be transporting between the east and north buildings. Thanks to our partners from the University at Buffalo and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, their research and development Olli vehicles were used during the show.
The University at Buffalo uses Olli to conduct research on autonomous and connected vehicles to inform decisions regarding policy, safety, reliability and the future of transportation. While Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company utilizes their Olli to test the effects of autonomous driving on tire wear.
Not one to shy away from cameras and excited passengers, both Ollis were ready to transport guests upon arrival. Olli operated daily, Monday through Friday from 9 am – 5:30 pm, and until 2 pm on Saturday. Some attendees stepped aboard to simply commute from one building to the next, but others’ curiosity was piqued by the opportunity of experiencing a self-driving vehicle for the first time.
The excitement to ride on an autonomous vehicle was uncontainable. To commence the experience, guests received an “Olli stamp” before boarding Olli. After completion of the ride, attendees were given a chance to tell us about their experience and in return, we thanked them for their feedback with Olli swag, most notably, 3D-Printed mini Ollis produced by our partners at Makerbot.
In addition to IMTS attendees taking rides, Olli also received a prestigious visit from Illinois Governor, Bruce Rauner.
We wrapped up a successful week at IMTS with giving over 1,400 rides! Olli continues to make an indelible impression at IMTS and on the hearts of riders around the globe. Our journey to offer sustainable transportation as a viable mobility solution is an ongoing effort and we look forward to placing Ollis on a road near you.