IBM HAS STUFFED its Watson artificial intelligence (AI) tech into a 3D printed car, merging two tech trends to create a self-driving pseudo milk float.
The electric vehicle, dubbed Olli, can hold up to 12 people rather than a load of bottled cow juice, and can be seen on the streets of Washington DC, and soon Miami-Dade County and Las Vegas.
OK, so we know that driverless cars are pretty much a thing now, particularly as we spotted one near Google’s Mountain View HQ. But the smart thing about Olli is its use of Watson Internet of Things (IoT) for Automotive, a version of the cognitive computing tech that allows people to talk to the vehicle.
Passengers can ask Olli the evergreen ‘Are we there yet?’ and it will answer, hopefully in a mildly exasperated voice. It’s basically a bit like Knight Rider's KITT only less stylish and without The Hoff.
However, Olli is not just a chatty car as the Watson IoT tech helps it to learn as it ferries people around and gathers data from over 30 sensors around the chassis.
The Olli was designed and built by Local Motors. Co-founder John B Rogers Jr, who has one of the most American names we have ever written, said: “Olli with Watson acts as our entry into the world of self-driving vehicles, something we’ve been quietly working on with our co-creative community for the past year.
“We are now ready to accelerate the adoption of this technology and apply it to nearly every vehicle in our current portfolio and those in the very near future. I’m thrilled to see what our open community will do with the latest in advanced vehicle technology.”
Several tech and car companies now working on driverless cars, and the roads could become an automotive robot battleground as Google's self-driving cars compete with Mercedes' autonomous automobiles.
Robot doomsayers must be having kittens. µ
The best of the rest of the week
Amazon is going big on AI for Christmas
But you still can't deactivate Samsung's divisive AI assistant