Local Motors, the company that outsourced the making of the independent Pro Shuttle as well as the Rally Fighter, will shut down operations by Friday, according to several posts from different employees on LinkedIn. The company has not yet released an official statement, but several employees are already looking for new work.
“I am disappointed to announce that Local Motors will cease operations effective January 14th,” wrote Chris Stoner, former vice president of sales and customer success. “I’ve only been there a few months, but loved every minute of it. I’ve made some great friends, both locally and globally, which makes it worth it. The autonomous car space is an exciting emerging market with plenty of opportunities. With a first-hand test of the skill and dedication of the people I’ve worked with, I have no doubts that utility vehicles (such as Ole) are the future of transportation.”
Olly, the company’s shuttle, is a nice rectangular cabin with large windows and a circular frame, designed for campuses and low-speed environments, such as hospitals, military bases, and universities.
The first generation of the Shuttle debuted in 2016 in National Harbor, Maryland in a mixed-use development. Ole 2.0, a 3D, fully electric version of the next generation of the self-driving shuttle, was to begin piloting in Toronto last spring, carrying passengers between West Rouge Station and Rouge Hill GO in order to connect passengers to one of the country’s major light rail networks. Area for longer distance transportation. Aside from the October 2020 announcement, the news about this pilot seems to have gone quiet.
The shutdown comes just a few months after Vikrant Agarwal, the former president and chief operating officer, took over as CEO, with the company sharing plans to expand production globally. Former CEO Jay Rogers has moved to an advisory position on the company’s board of directors.
“As with most adventures, it has to come to an end,” wrote Jeff Holwell, former vice president of IT at Local Motors. “Local Motors has closed its doors. It has been an exciting, challenging and educational experience working with Olly and all the team members at Local Motors. I have been fortunate to work with such amazing people and help build what others have said cannot be done! I have been able to grow as a leader and learn new skills that I am now taking On my next path forward. Thanks to all the team members and partners I was able to work with. The time spent was so worth the effort.”