Press and Releases

LAS VEGAS, NV., January 8, 2018 – Local Motors has been working with IBM and CTA Foundation to bring #AccessibleOlli to all people, aiming to make transportation accessible for those with impairments and/or disabilities.  Since announcing the partnership at CES 2017 last January, Local Motors, IBM and the CTA Foundation have crowd-sourced design ideas globally running numerous workshops, hack-a-thons and challenges with a broad range of ecosystem partners to develop #AccessibleOlli.

#AccessibleOlli, which will be showcased at CES 2018, is a 3D-printed version of Local Motors’ Olli, enhanced with an array of technologies.

CTA Foundation, IBM and Local Motors partnered with companies who could make a difference in a transportation vehicle’s accessibility. Following research, the three companies zeroed in on four personas to identify technological advancements that could be integrated into Olli for a more accessible vehicle experience.  The four personas are visual impairment, hearing impairment, physical impairment and cognitive impairment.  Since each persona has different needs and different ways of interacting, the three companies brought in partners from all spectrums to showcase how integrating new technologies can better the lives of others.

For example, #AccessibleOlli can direct anyone, including a passenger who is visually impaired, to empty seats using machine vision to identify open spots and audio cues to direct the passenger.

“We are excited to see #AccessibleOlli at CES 2018. Since announcing the #AccessibleOlli project at CES last year the partners have met with a wide variety of organizations representing different disabilities and aging populations to get ideas for the vehicle’s design. These, along with online submissions, helped to fuel the ideas incorporated by the many #AccessibleOlli partners and serve as an example of how consumer technology can better meet the needs of older adults and people with disabilities.” says Steve Ewell, Executive Director, CTA Foundation.

“What we noticed is that no one is talking about how people will interact with a vehicle that has no driver, and how this greatly impacts those with disabilities or impairments who rely on the “driver” to assist them” – says Brittany Stotler, Vice President Marketing, Local Motors.

#AccessibleOlli is a an ongoing effort, largely due to our partners at AdLink, Asahi Glass, Best Mile, City of Rochester (MN), Explorer.ai, Glen Raven, KinTrans, LG, Mapbox, Panasonic, Q’Straint, Sage, Siemens Software, Sunbrella, Ultrahaptics and what3words, along with CTA Foundation, IBM and Local Motors.  Learn more about all of the partners here.