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This Semester Sacramento State Students Can Take A Driverless Shuttle To Class

Randol White / Capital Public Radio

The Olli driverless shuttles are on loan for three months from a San Francisco-based company.

Randol White / Capital Public Radio

Updated 5:32 p.m.

For the next three months, an autonomous vehicle will be taking students from class to class on the Sacramento State campus.

The university is the first in the state to have a driverless shuttle after winning a Sacramento-area competition put on by Arizona-based Local Motors, which produces the vehicles.

Company CEO Jay Rogers said loaning Sac State the shuttles is a chance for them to test their product, known as Olli.

"So it was the opportunity for us to be able to have a robot, or pod of them, out on campus — mixed use, wheel chairs, skateboards, kids carrying projects, all these kinds of things — and it's actually much harder than being on a normal city street that's more organized," Rogers said.

Tony Lucas, senior director of University Transportation and Parking Service, said students won't just be riding Olli — they will also study the service and how it fits with the campus.

While Olli is only guaranteed through the end of this semester, Lucas said there's a chance it could continue.

"I think at this point the future is wide open for us,” he said. “Olli and the Local Motors has been a great company to work with and so we certainly, you know, we're attached to them, we like how everything is working so far."

The service costs roughly $90,000, most of which is being paid for by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments.

The two Olli shuttles follow a fixed route down Moraga Way nearly to Capistrano Hall.

Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified where Local Motors is based. It's based in Arizona.

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