Smarts from down under

An Australian company with grassroots in automotive has wowed this year’s international Consumer Electronics Show (CES) with its IoT enabled, smart shuttle stop.

Advanced manufacturer and control systems integrator SAGE Automation and US-based Local Motors

Launched Accessible Olli at CES in January.

Local Motor’s driverless shuttle ‘Olli’ and SAGE’s ‘OlliStop’ communicate with each other and the internet to offer passengers an interactive, smart experience tailored to their individual abilities.

But it goes beyond this….

The ‘OlliStop’ uses cameras, communication networks, voice recognition systems, sensors, lighting systems, software and IBM Watson natural language capabilities to talk to passengers and provide real-time travel information and assistance.

Kinect sensors and sign language displays on LCD screens can communicate with people who are deaf; speaker amplifiers and coloured signal lighting assists those who are hard of hearing or who have difficulty communicating; and cameras and sensors detect the passengers, ensuring a level of security. These are only a few of OlliStop’s features.

“Together with Local Motors, we’ve engineered something that will positively impact people’s daily lives. It’ll make public transport more accessible for the elderly and individuals with disabilities,” SAGE Automation CEO Adrian Fahey said.

“Our development of this prototype for the CES show is the first step in rolling it out publically,” Mr Fahey said.

 Smart design: from Australia to the USA

 SAGE designed and manufactured OlliStop from its international headquarters and Advanced Manufacturing Facility in South Australia before sending over the control system and other components for final assembly in the USA.

“The real exciting story here is in the technology application – making a shuttle stop ‘smart’ through the way we integrate technology so it can interact with people and Olli – that’s groundbreaking,” Mr Fahey said.

A range of technologies had to be integrated to communicate with each other, and Olli.

“We created the Ethernet network that talks to Olli and engineered everything from sound and music control, automated announcements for arrival times, changeable lighting, kinect sensors, camera systems and security systems for remote monitoring of the bus stop,” SAGE Project Engineer Matthew King explained.

 ‘Real world’ OlliStop vs CES exhibit

The technologies in OlliStop work autonomously, so when somebody enters the smart shuttle stop, a process begins.

“When this is installed in your neighborhood, the OlliStop will use sensors to know when you’re standing inside the shuttle stop and will run tailored features based on either your app data, or assistance requested by you,” Mr King said.

But he explained, the display at CES will only give people a taste of OlliStop’s accessibility features.

Those wanting to encounter the full OlliStop experience will have to wait till they’re on our roads.

Learn more about the OlliStop here.