The start-up Optimus Ride announced Tuesday, March 30, 2021 that it has partnered with Polaris, the company behind the brand of electric micro-cars GEM. These vehicles intended only for city trips have reduced performance, typically with a top speed not exceeding 40 km / h. The objective of this partnership: to accelerate the commercial deployment of an urban and autonomous mobility service thanks to these micro-cars. A logical partnership since Polaris had invested in the start-up last year.
The commercialization of autonomous micro-cars in 2023
As a first step, the partners will work on the marketing of a new range of fully autonomous GEM carts by the second half of the year 2023. The technological suite developed by Optimus Ride, which includes sensors and autonomous driving software , will be implemented on a GEM brand vehicle specially designed for this purpose. The advantages of these micro-cars are that they are faster to manufacture and less expensive than cars, minivans, buses and other shuttles.
Then, the partners will deploy these vehicles in targeted environments such as universities, residential neighborhoods, business campuses and others in order to offer autonomous and shared mobility services. Optimus Ride says it has already completed more than 75,000 races with Polaris GEM vehicles over the past two years. The start-up deployed several pilots (in the states of Massachusetts, Virginia, California, New York and Washington DC) with these vehicles in order to show that it was possible to deploy an autonomous mobility solution at a lower cost than with other types of vehicles.
“Expanding our partnership with Polaris allows us to accelerate the further transformation of personal mobility by providing autonomous and on-demand transportation services to communities across the country.”, comments Sean Harrington, CEO of Optimus Ride, in a press release.