Crowdsourced automaker Local Motors will cease operations on Friday, according to employees, TechCrunch reports. The company has yet to officially announce its impending demise, although reactions from its staff have already appeared on LinkedIn.
“Like most adventures, they have to come to an end,” Jeff Hollowell, vice president of information technology for Local Motors, wrote Thursday. “Local Motors has closed its doors. It was an exciting, stimulating and educational experience working with Olli and the entire Local Motors team. I had the chance to work with amazing people and help build what others said it couldn’t be done! I was able to grow as a leader and learn new skills which I now use for my next path forward. Thank you to all the team members and partners with whom I was able to work. The time spent was worth it. “
Local Motors pioneered the idea of outsourcing vehicle production with 2016’s Olli, a 3D printed 12-passenger microbus powered by the late IBM Watson. This sparked a minor arms race among automakers to produce a new class of autonomous passenger transport vehicles. . Of course, that hasn’t deterred companies from trying, as their efforts have led to a spate of high-profile traffic accidents in recent years, like the Navya that was wrecked during CES opening hours. 2017, the Toyota e-Pallette which sank a Paralympian in August, and single vehicle accident in Whitby, Ontario who seriously injured a man last December.
Local Motors first made a name for itself with the Rally Fighter Kit Car before turning to the development of the Olli. The company had planned to launch a pilot program for the second iteration of its autonomous shuttle, the Olli 2.0, in Toronto last spring, but those plans were then pushed back to February 2022 and, with Thursday’s reveal, likely won’t take hold. never take place.
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