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UNLV, Local Motors Partner on Autonomous Vehicle Research

Automotive education partnership will help drive the next generation of vehicle technology.
Research  |  Sep 8, 2015  |  By UNLV Media Relations
Media Contact: Tony Allen (702) 895-3102; [email protected]

Metal Rebel, a humanoid robot created by UNLV's Drones and Autonomous Systems Laboratory, behind the wheel of Local Motors' 3D-printed LOCO vehicle. (courtesy)

UNLV and Local Motors have partnered to create a research and development program that will drive new technology for automobiles. UNLV’s Drones and Autonomous Systems Lab (DASL) will work with Local Motors to create autonomous — or self-driving — systems for cars.

UNLV is now a part of the Local Motors LOCO Program. Short for Local Motors Co-Created, the LOCO University Vehicle Program advances the automotive education and research initiatives of our university partner programs in the fields of 3D printing, vehicle autonomy and more. The LOCO program provides university students and faculty with the projects, vehicles, and co-creation platform needed to quickly develop the next generation of vehicle technology. Partner universities engage in the LOCO program to attract future students and donors, and to help facilitate technology transfer into commercial value.

“This partnership with UNLV is an example of how Local Motors is using the power of co-creation to advance vehicle technology,” said Corey Clothier, Local Motors lead for automated vehicle development. “We will begin selling the world’s first 3D-printed car next year, and we’re excited for UNLV to be a piece of automotive history.”

Local Motors recently delivered its 3D-printed LOCO vehicle to UNLV. The team from DASL, headed by Paul Oh, plans to equip the first vehicle with autonomy sensory equipment that will allow its humanoid robot, Metal Rebel, to drive the vehicle. Oh, a UNLV engineering professor and renowned expert in robots and autonomous systems, is a former program director for robotics at the National Science Foundation and is helping UNLV and Nevada become a national leader in the booming autonomous systems industry.

“Local Motors’ vision and realization of microfactories is truly exciting and DASL is thrilled to be an active partner in this vision,” Oh said. “Microfactories combined with cloud-computing, wireless networking and connectivity yield bold innovations for inspiring wonder and empowering creativity.”

Local Motors plans on outfitting the UNLV DASL team with iterations of its highway-ready 3D-printed car during the next year.

About Local Motors

Local Motors is a technology company that designs, builds, and sells vehicles. From bytes-to-bits, the Local Motors platform combines global co-creation with local micro-manufacturing to bring hardware innovations, like the world’s first 3D-printed car, to market at unprecedented speed. Learn more at localmotors.com.