Knoxville unveils self-driving trolley

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Residents and visitors to Knoxville will soon have a new way to get around town – a self-driving trolley.

City leaders announced Thursday that “Olli” will soon be added to the transportation options in Knoxville. The self-driving trolley has some 3D printed parts that engages and talks to those riding on it.

Kim Bumpas with Visit Knoxville says its a project city leaders have been working on for some time and thinks it fits in well with the direction the city is going.

“These engineering, scientific, innovative conferences that want to come to town and this will really play into that. So it’s huge and it’s also got a whole other component. Because those leisure travelers that come here that are looking for an engaged different experience, they’re going to be all over the Olli so that’s what I’m really excited about,” said Bumpas.

Olli drives using sensors and cameras and can carry up to 12 passengers. Local Motors, which manufactured and created the vehicle, says it can react faster than a driving human. It also has the promise of reduced carbon emissions and noise pollution because it is electric.

Olli should enter its full phase next year, but Bumpas says it will soon go into testing and they hope to roll it out at a few different events this year.

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