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Eastern Michigan University to purchase two Olli 3D printed EV

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In an effort to highlight its commitment to technology, Eastern Michigan University’s (EMU) GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology will deploy autonomous Olli smart EV shuttles this school year as it will open a new research and development space at the American Center for Mobility (ACM) in Ypsilanti, Mich.

Manufactured by Local Motors using LFAM 3D printing technology and composite materials, the Olli EV is an advanced car shuttle manufactured by Local Motors and current plans call for two Ollis to be in operation on campus later this year.

“These projects represent a dynamic step forward for the University,” said Eastern Michigan University President James Smith. “Having our students engaged and active in the world of autonomous vehicles, and the research that takes place on our campus and at the American Center for Mobility, will give them a distinct advantage as they pursue their future careers. It is important to acknowledge the ongoing contribution of the GameAbove alumni group and its support of projects such as these. I am truly thankful for GameAbove’s involvement.”

“In order to remain a top-tier engineering and technology college, commitments like these are necessary,” said Mohamad Qatu, dean of the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology. “Not only will the Ollis enable our students to receive hands-on experience working with autonomous vehicles, but they will also provide transportation for the greater campus community. The space at ACM offers a world-class facility that will bring us closer to companies working on autonomous vehicles and cybersecurity. This agreement will help to further establish EMU as a major educational institution on autonomous and connected vehicles.”

Eastern Michigan University to purchase two Olli 3D printed smart EV

One of the EV shuttles that will be transporting students and faculty later this year will be on display tonight outside Rynearson Stadium for EMU’s first football game of the season. The Eagle Shuttle, as it is called on campus, is built by Local Motors as part of the Olli autonomous vehicle platform.

Olli is a low-speed, electric, self-driving shuttle built in Knoxville, Tennessee using advanced manufacturing techniques like 3D-printing. Since their debut in 2016, the shuttles have been deployed in nine countries and safely logged thousands of autonomous miles.

In the coming months this vehicle, along with another, will be given upgrades by EMU students and will transport riders to various places on campus and in the community. Details on the upgrade and shuttle routes will be provided throughout the school year.

“This partnership is important to showing the utility and capability of Ollis,” said Jay Rogers, CEO of Local Motors. “The project with EMU will focus on how autonomous solutions, like Olli, connect people with safe transportation alternatives and present new learning opportunities. This kind of deployment, on and around campus, is an ideal setting for Olli.”

EMU’s vehicle laboratory at ACM will support ongoing research in the area of autonomous vehicle cybersecurity. EMU began moving into the space at the start of the fall 2021 semester.

In addition to growing its autonomous and connected vehicles work, the partnership supports a new incoming Senior Research Engineer position and will help to secure grants and other projects with industry leaders like Perrone Robotics and others.

“The vision has always been to leverage ACM’s smart mobility test center for research, education and workforce development,” said Reuben Sarkar, President and CEO of ACM. “ACM is excited to have EMU be the first university to set up residency here, offering exponential benefits and academic opportunities through immersion into a real-world test center, working alongside industry professionals.”

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Victor Anusci

Victor does not really exist. He is a pseudonym for several writers in the 3D Printing Media Network team. As a pseudonym, Victor has also had a fascinating made-up life story, living as a digital (and virtual) nomad to cover the global AM industry. He has always worked extra-hard whenever he was needed to create unique content. However, lately, as our editorial team has grown, he is mostly taking care of publishing press releases.

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