Robotic Research, a provider of robotic technologies to commercial and federal customers, has received permission from the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration to operate Olli, an autonomous electric shuttle, between its two offices in Clarksburg, Maryland, USA.
A Highly-Automated Vehicle (HAV) permit was granted for the Olli shuttle, which is driven by Robotic Research’s AutoDrive technology, following an extensive review of the technology by Montgomery County government, law enforcement, fire and emergency services, and public transportation.
The HAV permit will allow Robotic Research to continue its research and testing of autonomous vehicle capabilities and technology directly on a half-mile stretch of public roadway in Montgomery County.
This will be the first deployment of Olli in Montgomery County and the second in the US state of Maryland.
Local Motors, the manufacturer of Olli, is providing demonstration testing at National Harbor, a 300-acre multi-use waterfront development.
“We are extremely pleased to have such great support from the state of Maryland and Montgomery County to help advance our research in autonomous vehicle development,” said Alberto Lacaze, president of Robotic Research.
“This is a great step forward for innovation in the state of Maryland, and is a great example of the kind of leadership in technology the state is committed to supporting in the private sector.”
Robotic Research provides its AutoDrive autonomy software and hardware to Olli’s manufacturer, Local Motors, to enable the shuttle to operate without a driver.
For safety redundancies, however, the Montgomery County deployment will have a safety operator on board at all times, available for immediate takeover of vehicle control if necessary.
AutoDrive works on a variety of vehicles, from shuttles such as Olli to trucks and buses, allowing them to operate autonomously in common and complex transportation environments, including pedestrian walkways, downtown areas, roadways, intersections, corporate campuses, traffic lights etc.