TURIN, JANUARY 17 – “Hello. My name is Olli. And I’m making history”. On a sunny winter’s morning the International Training Centre of the ILO welcomed Olli, the first cognitively-enabled vehicle, an innovative form of mobility which seats 12 passengers and operates autonomously through artificial intelligence.
The project was developed collaboratively by Local Motors (an American motor vehicle manufacturing company), IBM, and the Consumer Technology Association Foundation with the goal of creating a safe, independent, and eco-conscious form of mobility. This electric vehicle will operate on the ITCILO campus for an initial period of five to six months with configured bus stops around campus. Olli has already caught the attention of Paola Pisano, Italian Minister for Technological Innovation, and Chiara Appendino, the mayor of Turin. This is only the beginning of Olli’s journey.
Every day there are around 300 staff members and external employees on campus. In addition, the Centre welcomes up to 5,000 participants yearly from all over the world. This experiential mode of mobility will promote inclusive policies, in particular by facilitating transportation for people with physical disabilities or difficulties. Aligned with the UN’s mission, Olli ensures inclusive mobility for all.
The autonomous communication systems on board of Olli assist the visually impaired and hard of hearing. Passengers can ask Olli questions and receive information regarding their destination, the weather, and more. Passengers with visual disabilities are guided to their seat through audio cues and haptic sensors, which send vibrations as they approach an empty seat. While the hard of hearing may express themselves through sign language and receive a response through a sign language hologram.
On campus, Olli will gather first-hand information about the social and multicultural acceptability of this autonomous mobility solution. These focus groups comprising people from more than 100 different countries will help the technology advance in international inclusivity.
The ITCILO’s 10-hectare campus is a hub for technological innovation, skills development, and future entrepreneurship, and Olli is a driving force to trigger change in mobility. The campus strives to be more environmentally sustainable simultaneously promoting innovation in all its forms.
Olli is just the beginning of the urban mobility revolution. “We want to encourage a model of sustainable mobility,” said Luigi Buson, the ITCILO’s Chief Operations Officer.
Even if 95% of the external cars that enter the campus are traditional, all internal service providers use electric vehicles. In order to offset the CO2 emissions generated by the Centre’s staff and participants’ air travel, the ITCILO seeks smart ways to compensate. Olli reduces the Centre’s carbon footprint, one shuttle ride at a time. (@OnuItalia)