1st fleet of self-driving shuttles comes to Phoenix

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - Those who know his say Olli is a great driver, reliable and trustworthy.

One thing that Olli is not is a human, but rather the new autonomous shuttle engineered by Local Motors.

"I think that with any new technology that's coming onto the market there's that hesitation, there's that period where we all have to figure out how does that fit into our lives and how is it advantageous for me," Brittany Stotler said.

Olli can seat eight people, four more standing, and can go 25 miles per hour. With a massive database of routes, Olli stays on an appointed path and avoids obstacles thanks to 360 sensors.

"It's a robot, it's going to do what it's programed to do, it's looking for things to react to," Ryan Clancey said.

The team at Local Motors says their focus right now is getting the public interested and involved.

"We want people to see how the technology works, understand it, educate people on how this can help and benefit their lives," Stotler said.

She adds that they understand the hesitation to jump on board but say the key to getting comfortable is education.

"A lot of people are kind of hesitant and they're scared about it and it's 'who's gonna be out of a job' or 'how am I actually going to use this,' where does it fit in?'" Stotler said. "And people feel the same way about elevators, they felt the same way about computers and even cellphones, and now we can't live without any of them."

The team says they hope Olli's will be used for everything from public transportation and sporting events to school and hotel shuttles.

While the first fleet of Olli's are tested out in Phoenix and Sacramento, there will be a trained steward up front, but as the public gains trust in Olli and the legislation falls into place, Local Motors hopes to have Olli's on their own as early as 2020.

"As those regulations start to go into place and there's more acceptance of the tech in the world, we'll start pulling those stewards off and Olli's will be running around the world," Stotler said.