Ford Motor Credit Company (F), General Motors Company (GM), Google (toget), Polaris Industries Inc. (PII) – Will Polaris be overlooked in the electric and autonomous vehicle markets?

The growth of the electric vehicle market has spawned many companies dealing with different sectors and sizes of the market. A company known for making off-road vehicles could have a role in the electric and autonomous vehicle market.

What happened: Optimus Ride and Polaris Inc. (NYSE: PII) signed a joint development agreement this week to create an exclusive line of low-speed autonomous vehicles.

The new Polaris GEM (Global Electric Motorcars) is used on residential roads, corporate sites and academic colleges in the United States. Optimus Ride offers state-of-the-art full-stack autonomous technology.

“Together, Optimus Ride and Polaris Commercial have tried to solve a real mobility problem through autonomous vehicle technology,” the company said.

Optimus Ride has already completed over 75,000 trips with Polaris GEM vehicles at selected test locations in the past two years.

The vehicles can already be found in geofenced communities in Massachusetts, Virginia, California, New York, and Washington DC. A recent permit in California allows the GEMs to be tested on public roads in the state.

“All-electric, fully autonomous GEMs of the right size are a safe, inexpensive and sustainable solution,” the press release said.

Related link: Polaris Q4 Earnings Insights

Why it matters: Known as a leader in the powersports and off-road market, Polaris is fast becoming a serious player in the commercial vehicle business and in expanding its autonomous offerings.

Polaris Commercial already has several passenger and commercial vehicles. Autonomous vehicles can now be added.

“Microtransit is a great starting point for autonomy and it will be where AVs start to penetrate,” the company told TechCrunch.

The expansion of Polaris to include autonomous vehicles of this type puts the company in competition alphabet (NASDAQ: toget) (NASDAQ: togetL) Unit Waymo, General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) cruise division, Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) and other startups.

“Concentrating short distances in a localized, low-speed environment is the fastest way to deploy autonomous mobility solutions and deliver an exceptional experience. While with a robotaxi, the technological challenge is unlimited, ”the company told TechCrunch.

PII price promotion: Polaris’ stock closed Thursday 1.06% to $ 134.93.

(Photo: A Polaris GEM e6 with the autonomous technology from Optimus Ride, Polaris)

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