Self-driving Olli shuttle with IBM Watson debuts in Washington area

Olli, a self-driving shuttle for 12 passengers running IBM Watson Internet of Things technology, made its debut in a shopping area of the Washington suburbs on Thursday.

While some “fine-tuning” of the self-driving features are needed, passengers, by this fall, should be able to ride around and speak directions to Olli on the private roads at the National Harbor shopping and entertainment area on the Maryland side of the Potomac River, according to a spokeswoman for Local Motors, the designer of Olli.

The vision is that Olli will be used in all kinds of venues, such as crowded urban areas, college and corporate campuses and theme parks. It could also become the “last mile” connection from a subway or bus stop to a job site. Miami-Dade County has ordered two of the vehicles for a pilot project there, said the Local Motors spokeswoman, Jacqueline Keidel.

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IBM lures startups with Silicon Valley hub for Watson supercomputer

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SAN FRANCISCO — IBM’s Watson supercomputer is coming to San Francisco to do more business with Silicon Valley startups.

The company will be opening a new cognitive computing hub for Watson, called Watson West, next year in San Francisco. IBM’s Senior Vice President Mike Rhodin announced the news during an event in San Francisco Thursday

The goal of the center is to make it easier for local developers, startups and venture capitalists to tap into Watson’s cognitive computing abilities

As IBM continues to expand its Watson business, opening up an official Bay Area presence represents a big opportunity for the company. Rhodin noted that there are already many startups whose products rely on Watson’s technology.One fantasy sports startup, called Edge Up Sports, for instance, uses Watson APIs to help users make decisions for their fantasy teams Read more…

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