For Immediate Release: July 10, 2019

SMUD debuts electric, self-driving shuttles at the California State Fair

Clean transportation technologies available for public use 

SMUD is partnering with Cal Expo to showcase autonomous driving shuttles at the California State Fair. Known as Olli, this self-driving, electric shuttle seats up to eight people and a “safety steward” to ensure a positive rider experience. It will provide guests with a free ride from the parking lot to the main gate while driving six pre-programmed routes and navigating pedestrian and vehicle traffic. It’s programmed to stop at specific locations to pick up and drop off passengers and is outfitted with sensors that will stop when it senses obstacles approaching its path.

“We are excited to be demonstrating the role that autonomous vehicles can play in Sacramento,” said Paul Lau, Chief of Grid Strategy and Operations at SMUD. “The State Fair is a great opportunity to showcase its ability to provide top-notch user experience while navigating a diverse environment. This new clean technology will expose people of all ages and capabilities to self-driving vehicles while reducing pollution in our community,” said Lau. 

Olli will be available for public use during the full run of the State Fair. Reporters can get a sneak peek and ride on Olli during the California State Fair Media Day or any day by request.

  WHAT: Ride on Olli, the electric self-driving shuttle, at State Fair Media Day

  WHEN: Thursday, July 11 from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

  WHERE: Cal Expo, Administration building

The public can ride Olli during the State Fair by registering at

Olli was developed by Local Motors and is the world's first partially 3D-printed, self-driving electric vehicle. It travels on a pre-set path at speeds around 8 mph and has a maximum range of 40 miles. Three Ollies have been in use for the past several months at Sacramento State University and Cal Expo, and will soon be in use in the city of Rancho Cordova.

SMUD has been supporting emerging transportation technologies since the 1970s starting with electric vehicles and has continued to explore enhanced mobility efforts in the region.

In fact, SMUD is currently working to bring a California Mobility Center to Sacramento that will serve as an innovation hub of policy, funding and commercialization of clean transportation

technologies including autonomous transportation; electric vehicles; battery storage; shared mobility solutions; public transit and more.

These efforts support SMUD’s recent adoption of one of the most aggressive Integrated Resource Plans in the country that puts SMUD on the path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

The goal is to provide equal opportunities in Sacramento for increased mobility, clean air and access to things like employment, healthcare and education.

SMUD’s efforts and partnerships have already brought electric vehicles to underserved communities; electric school buses to local districts; mobile battery charging stations and more.

About SMUD

As the nation’s sixth-largest community-owned, not-for-profit, electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for more than 70 years to Sacramento County and small adjoining portions of Placer and Yolo Counties. SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. SMUD’s power mix is about 50 percent non-carbon emitting. For more information, visit