This self-driving vehicle could soon make its way to Riverfront Park
SPOKANE, Wash. — “Olli” the self-driving vehicle will not be coming to Riverfront Park.
The Spokane City Council meeting on Monday addressed whether they would enter into a three-month pilot program with the autonomous shuttle’s manufacturer, Local Motors. The program did not get enough votes to pass; while it had the majority of votes from councilmembers, it was a part of an emergency budget ordinance, which requires at least five votes to pass.
— Kyle Simchuk (@KyleKXLY) December 3, 2019
Councilmembers Lori Kinnear, Candace Mumm and Mike Fagan all voted against Olli. Fagan said he’s not comfortable with self-driving vehicles, especially in public parks. Kinnear said her main issue was the fact that Olli is not wheelchair friendly.
“It is an attraction, but it is not an attraction for everyone and so we have to keep that in mind when we are looking to populate our park with things that will be for the public,” Kinnear said.
Olli also can’t drive in the snow and even though it is autonomous, there would be a real human inside at all times for safety.
“So there’s got to be somebody that is paid that is going to sit and do what?” Kinnear asked.
Olli is a 3D-printed car that drives itself. The car can fit eight people inside, requires no fossil fuels and has a LIDAR sensor that can see 360 degrees at all times.
According to Local Motors, Olli is also equipped with IBM Watson IoT technology, so the car can answer questions, make recommendations or even crack jokes.
The City of Spokane recently entered and won the “PNW Fleet Challenge” offered by Local Motors to showcase Olli.
The program would have included two Olli vehicles, which would operate during the trial period and take passengers along from the Rotary Fountain to the expo butterfly in Riverfront Park.
Services would have been available for around 40 hours per week over a three-month period, starting on December 4 and continuing into March 2020.
Overall, the pilot program would have cost the City of Spokane $88,000.
COPYRIGHT 2020 BY KXLY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED.