The Future on Wheels

The Future on Wheels

A new mobility model arrives in Turin under the United Nations flag 

Olli parked

On a sunny winter’s morning the International Training Centre of the ILO welcomed the first cognitively-enabled vehicle, Olli. This innovative form of mobility seats 12 passengers and operates autonomously through artificial intelligence. 

Hello. My name is Olli. And I’m making history.

The project was developed collaboratively by Local Motors (an American motor vehicle manufacturing company), IBM, and the Consumer Technology Association Foundation with the goal of creating a safe, independent, and eco-conscious form of mobility. This electric vehicle will operate on the ITCILO campus for an initial period of five to six months with configured bus stops around campus. Olli has already caught the attention of Paola Pisano, Italian Minister for Technological Innovation, and Chiara Appendino, the mayor of Turin. This is only the beginning of Olli’s journey.

Inclusive mobility

Every day there are around 300 staff members and external employees on campus. In addition, the Centre welcomes up to 5,000 participants yearly from all over the world. This experiential mode of mobility will promote inclusive policies, in particular by facilitating transportation for people with physical disabilities or difficulties. Aligned with the UN’s mission, Olli ensures inclusive mobility for all.

But how does Olli work? The autonomous communication systems on board assist the visually impaired and hard of hearing. Passengers can ask Olli questions and receive information regarding their destination, the weather, and more. Passengers with visual disabilities are guided to their seat through audio cues and haptic sensors, which send vibrations as they approach an empty seat. While the hard of hearing may express themselves through sign language and receive a response through a sign language hologram.

Olli with mayor and minister inside

On campus, Olli will gather first-hand information about the social and multicultural acceptability of this autonomous mobility solution. These focus groups comprising people from more than 100 different countries will help the technology advance in international inclusivity. 

Sustainability on the move

The ITCILO’s 10-hectare campus is a hub for technological innovation, skills development, and future entrepreneurship, and Olli is a driving force to trigger change in mobility. The campus strives to be more environmentally sustainable simultaneously promoting innovation in all its forms.

Olli is just the beginning of the urban mobility revolution.

“We want to encourage a model of sustainable mobility,” said Luigi Buson, the ITCILO’s Chief Operations Officer.

Olli driving

Even if 95% of the external cars that enter the campus are traditional, all internal service providers use electric vehicles. In order to offset the CO2 emissions generated by the Centre’s staff and participants' air travel, the ITCILO seeks smart ways to compensate. Olli reduces the Centre's carbon footprint, one shuttle ride at a time.

Next stop: the future. What are you waiting for? Hop on board.