Local Motors will discontinue operations Friday


Self-driving shuttle manufacturer Local Motors will shutter operations on Friday, according to multiple executives.

Though no formal announcement was made, several employees with the company, which produced the Olli shuttle — accessible for people with disabilities — among other vehicles, detailed the company’s demise on social media Thursday. Two Local Motors employees later confirmed the reports.

Founded in July 2007, Local Motors was helmed by founder and CEO John Rogers, who caught attention initially by showcasing 3D-printed vehicles. Rogers departed in August, and the CEO role was filled by Cummins executive Vikrant Aggarwal in September.

In recent years, Local Motors focused on building and deploying low-speed autonomous shuttles, which were used in pilot projects around the world. As the pandemic spread and riders fled public-transit options, many public-transit departments stopped funding mobility projects in favor of shoring up their finances and core operations.

Local Motors was not the only AV shuttle company to face such headwinds. This week, Optimus Ride discontinued its commercial activities, while striking a deal to send 120 of its Boston-based engineers to Magna International Inc., along with intellectual property.

In December, Local Motors suffered another setback when one of its Olli shuttles crashed into a tree in the Toronto suburb of Whitby. An attendant on board was critically injured, according to news reports, and the collision remains under investigation.

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