Perrone Robotics Signs OEM Agreement With Local Motors for Autonomous Shuttles

Companies will jointly develop autonomous shuttles for transit and transportation alternatives.

Perrone Robotics

The Olli 3D-printed autonomous shuttle.
Autonomous vehicle pioneers Perrone Robotics and Local Motors are collaborating to integrate Perrone's TONY autonomy kit into Local Motors Olli electric shuttle this year.

Perrone Robotics Inc. yesterday said that it and Local Motors Inc. have signed an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement. The companies plan to develop next-generation autonomous shuttles that will integrate Perrone's autonomous vehicle technology into Olli, the shuttle designed and manufactured by Local Motors. 

“This new OEM agreement is an important step in expanding our current customer base while enhancing the vehicle experience for passengers,” stated Vikrant Aggarwal, president of Local Motors. “Our ability to meet evolving customer needs depends on our ability to work with partners with proven track records and the ability to scale.”

Perrone and Local Motors innovate

Both collaborators claimed to be autonomous vehicle innovators. Perrone Robotics holds a Pioneer Patent for its “MAX” general-purpose robotics operating system. The Crozet, Va.-based company said its TONY system (short for “TO Navigate You”) is a retrofit kit that can “drop into” any vehicle for the autonomous transit of people and goods in geofenced and localized operations.

TONY can provide a complete “artificial driver” for commercial, municipal, and governmental customers, said Perrone. The company said its systems can increase transportation efficiencies, enhance safety, and accelerate zero-emission electric vehicle deployment. It also offers a portfolio of existing turnkey autonomous shuttles and vehicles pre-integrated with the kit.

Founded in 2007, Local Motors manufactures open-source vehicle designs using a microfactory model. The Phoenix, Ariz.-based company claimed that it has built the world's first co-created vehicle; the world's first 3D-printed car; and the world's first co-created, electric autonomous vehicle (AV), Olli.

Olli to include TONY soon

The two companies said their joint offering will “improve mobility options across the transit and transportation value chain while enhancing the customer and end-user experience.” They plan to launch the Olli vehicle integrated with Perrone's TONY AV technology in the fall of 2021.

Perrone Robotics will now be the strategic software vendor for the Olli autonomous shuttle. It will also contribute its autonomous technology development expertise to enable deployments on both public and private roads where fully autonomous capability at posted speeds is required.

Local Motors said it will support the integration, testing, deployment, and mass production of the Olli vehicle. Both companies said they will focus on scaled delivery and deployment of Olli vehicles integrated with Perrone's technology for U.S. and international markets.

“Local Motors' Olli vehicle line represents a novel approach to autonomous people movement in a visionary futuristic platform that can be micro-manufactured at scale today,” stated Paul Perrone, founder and CEO of Perrone Robotics. “We're excited to work with Local Motors to provide our fully autonomous vehicle technology in Olli vehicles, direct from the factory.”

“Out of the gate, the new TONY AV-driven Olli offers a reliable, full-autonomy solution operating at posted roadway speeds in a safety-certifiable framework,” he added. “As we continue to drive innovation and form key relationships like this one with Local Motors, the market will soon realize that Perrone Robotics is the autonomy solution of choice for vehicle manufacturers, customers, and AV passengers.”

Early teaser video of a TONY autonomous shuttle.

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Perrone Robotics

The Olli 3D-printed autonomous shuttle.

Robot Technologies