GEM Recalls Certain 2016-17 Models

The 2016 GEM e2.

Polaris Industries recently announced a recall of certain model year 2016 and 2017 GEM electric vehicles because lug nuts on the front wheels can loosen and the front wheels potentially detach. The recall pertains to certain GEM E2, E4, E6 and ELXD models with steel wheels. As many as 1,254 vehicles may be affected. GEM will notify owners and is currently finalizing a remedy.

Given their recall troubles in the side-by-side market, this is unwelcome news for Polaris. While the number of vehicles affected pales in comparison to the massive RZR and Ranger recalls, it is a sizable chunk of their total annual sales of GEMs. Only a few thousand GEMs are sold annually. The 2016 model year GEMs represented a major relaunching of the line. Earlier this year there was another recall for these vehicles related to the drive mode switch.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

The following information is from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

April 26, 2017 NHTSA CAMPAIGN NUMBER: 17V279000

Front Steel Wheel Lug Nuts may Loosen
If a wheel separates from the vehicle, it can increase the risk of a crash.

NHTSA Campaign Number: 17V279000

Manufacturer Polaris Industries, Inc.

Components WHEELS

Potential Number of Units Affected 1,254

Summary

Polaris Industries, Inc. (Polaris) is recalling certain 2016-2017 GEM E2, E4, E6, and ELXD electric vehicles, equipped with steel wheels. The lug nuts on the front wheels may loosen, potentially resulting in a front wheel detaching from the vehicle.

Remedy

GEM will notify owners. The manufacturer has not yet finalized a remedy plan, nor provided a notification schedule. Owners may contact GEM Consumer Service Department at 1-855-743-3436. Polaris’ number for this recall is L-17-01.

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

8 Affected Products
Vehicles

MAKE MODEL YEAR

GEM E2 2016-2017
GEM E4 2016-2017
GEM E6 2016-2017
GEM ELXD 2016-2017

Self-Driving Vehicles = Growth For STOVs?

Google Prototype self-driving low-speed vehicle.

My colleague recently penned an article exploring the nexus of self-driving cars and golf car-type vehicles. Some of the key takeaways:

  • Hardware costs are dropping precipitously and may soon be within striking distance of being affordable for golf car type vehicles.
  • Golf car manufacturers are already exploring the technology and in some cases conducting testing.
  • Other companies are using GEM vehicles as self-driving test vehicles.
  • Gated communities with low speed vehicles provide a lower complexity environment that is more conducive to self-driving solutions.
  • Self-driving technology could expand potential growth avenues in non-golf car markets, an area of focus for golf car manufacturers

The article points to gated communities and urban fleets as potential market segments for deployment of self-driving technology. There are also other potential market impacts not addressed in the article that this technology can have.

For one, self-driving technology could provide an impetus for LSVs sales in the personal transportation sector. Purpose made LSVs have not quite reached their potential in this segment due to the relative cost of LSVs compared to the available market alternatives such as used golf cars, golf cars modified to be LSV compliant, customized golf cars and new golf cars. Put simply, not enough customers have found the additional price of LSVs to be worth the additional benefits. LSVs for personal transportation have done best where local regulations have favored them such as where golf cars or modified golf cars are not allowed on public roads but LSVs are, or where night time driving or other driving restrictions require LSV compliant technology.

Self-driving technology could be a differentiator for personal transportation LSVs. Since they are higher priced, LSVs are likely to feature self-driving technology before traditional golf cars. While it is possible existing golf cars could be retrofitted with self-driving technology, it may prove cost prohibitive and, more importantly, likely to encounter regulatory issues. It’s one thing to slap on some lights and an auto-style windshield, it’s quite another to install the software and hardware components necessary to create a self-driving vehicle, not to mention supporting the system with updates moving forward.

Regulatory issues brings to mind another consideration in regard to self-driving technology, medium speed vehicles (MSVs). While a few states in the US allow medium speed vehicles, at the Federal level NHTSA has never created a MSV classification and, in fact, has strongly opposed the idea on safety grounds. A MSV would require prohibitively expensive safety features akin to a highway capable vehicle.

Can self-driving change this dynamic? It is a possibility worth considering. In January, 2017 NHTSA completed their investigation (PDF file) of Tesla’s Autopilot and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system, which was initiated following a fatal crash of a Tesla with a tractor trailer in Florida. Their conclusion was that, “A safety-related defect trend has not been identified at this time and further examination of this issue does not appear to be warranted.” However, for the purposes of this discussion, the most important finding of the report was related to Tesla vehicles before and after they had Tesla’s Autopilot Technology Package (ATP) installed at purchase or through updates. “The data show that the Tesla vehicles crash rate dropped by almost 40 percent after Autosteer installation.”

This is an astonishing drop, and even more so considering it does not take into account whether Autopilot was in use. Therefore, this improvement is likely a conservative finding. The question is straightforward. Can MSVs use self-driving technology to make them safe enough to pass NHTSA’s regulatory rigor? Why rely on a package of older and likely more expensive safety technology to improve MSV safety when a potentially cheaper and possibly more effective solution is on the horizon. It may soon be time to revisit the possibility of creating an MSV classification, which could open up a range of potential growth markets.

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Polaris GEM Issues Recall

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Polaris GEM e2

The 2016 GEM e2 is part of the recall.

GEM, owned by Polaris, has issued a recall for 2016-2017 e2, e4, e6, and eL XD models because the drive mode switch can send an incorrect signal, causing the vehicle to go in the opposite direction than intended. This is a fairly large recall for GEM in relation to their annual sales. It seems few Polaris brands can escape recall issues of late.

The following information is from NHTSA.

Campaign Number: 16V884000

Manufacturer Polaris Industries, Inc.

Components ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

Potential Number of Units Affected 1,644

Summary

Polaris Industries, Inc. (Polaris) is recalling certain 2016-2017 GEM e2, e4, e6, and eL XD electric vehicles manufactured May 29, 2015, to November 18, 2016. The drive mode switch can send an incorrect signal, causing the vehicle to go in the opposite direction than intended.

Remedy

Polaris will notify owners, and dealers will replace the drive switch, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in December 2016. Owners may contact GEM Consumer Service Department at 1-855-743-3436. Polaris’ number for this recall is L-16-01.

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

Should Autocycles Be Next For STOV Manufacturers

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

Arcimoto SRK

The electric powered Arcimoto SRK is expected to be available later this year.

I have come across a number of articles recently focusing on autocycles and I thought this might be a potential product development direction for STOV manufacturers.

First, what is an autocycle? It is basically a three-wheeled vehicle such as the Slingshot by Polaris, or offerings from start ups such as Elio Motors and Arcimoto. There is no standard definition for an autocycle in the US or other countries. In the US, an autocycle is typically classified as a motorcycle, although not always, as Polaris discovered with their Slingshot. They have had to work with some states to develop legislation to allow their vehicles on the road. (See how the classification for the Slingshot varies by state.)

The benefit of being classified as a motorcycle is that the vehicle does not have to conform to more expensive automobile safety standards. This benefit is key to providing STOV manufacturers with a new product opportunity. In particular, I believe Polaris and the golf car manufacturers are well positioned to produce a more practical neighborhood electric vehicle that can provide a good value proposition in relation to street legal golf cars (new or used), low speed vehicles and lower priced highway capable cars.

Now Polaris already has the Slingshot, but this is more of a recreational vehicle designed for those interested in a motorcycle like experience with a greater sense of safety and requiring less driving skill. The Slingshot is highway capable, features a gas engine and pricing starts around $22,000. The not yet in production Elio Motors autocycle is also gas powered, highway capable and has a base price of $7,300. The electric powered Arcimoto SRK is expected to be available this year, has a top speed of 80 mph and starts at $12,000 for the 12kWh model which provides a 70 mile range. Like Slingshot, the Elio and SRK provide seating for two but they are placed front to back rather than side to side as in the Slingshot. All three feature two wheels up front and one in the rear.

While all three of these vehicles are capable of highway speeds, I propose that there is a real market opportunity for a medium speed vehicle (MSV). The medium speed, say up to 40-45 mph, would make the vehicles more practical to use for personal transport than golf cars or LSVs which top out at 19-25 mph. STOV manufacturers have pushed for a MSV designation but NHTSA has not been willing to budge on the costly safety standards for four-wheeled vehicles. This is why the motorcycle/autocycle classification is critical to this opportunity. A MSV autocycle would be a more viable second vehicle for many households and a more versatile neighborhood vehicle for those in gated or retirement communities.

The vehicle should also be electric powered to maximize the environmental benefits and also take advantage of electric motorcycle incentives where available. An electric autocycle would provide a significantly less expensive electric vehicle option to green consumers than the currently available electric cars. A MSV would also require a smaller battery pack than a highway capable electric autocycle, further reducing costs. Of course, a highway capable option could be made available but that would start driving up the costs.

Besides the aforementioned startups, who is positioned to develop these type of vehicles? Polaris is an obvious choice. They already have experience designing, engineering and producing an autocycle and they are innovators. They also have been acquiring electric drivetrain technology (Brammo) and electric vehicle brands such as GEM, Goupil and Taylor-Dunn. It is a vehicle that could potentially fit nicely into their portfolio of the brands that are sold internationally. The biggest challenge for Polaris would be distribution. A MSV autocycle would probably not be a good fit for their powersports dealers, as the customers would be more transportation than recreation oriented. Their brands such as Goupil, Taylor-Dunn and even GEM are geared more towards the commercial customer. Polaris might have to partner with another company to access the right distribution channels.

This brings us to the golf car manufacturers. They have the expertise in developing and selling electric vehicles, but not necessarily the three-wheeled variety and have been more focused on lead acid battery packs. One could argue that they also haven’t been that innovative. They do however have the right distribution network. Their customers are already coming to them for personal transportation solutions.

A MSV autocycle could find a home in Textron’s (maker of E-Z-GO) Specialty Vehicle division which encompasses a wide range of small, task-oriented vehicles. They have also been striking out into new territory with new ATV and UTV products under the Bad Boy Off-road brand. Another option is Yamaha Golf Car, although they are the smallest of the big three manufacturers. This leaves Club Car. As a subsidiary of Ingersoll-Rand they certainly have the financial wherewithal to develop a vehicle on their own, and they may be the best fit for a partnership with Polaris. Unlike Yamaha and Textron they do not compete directly with Polaris in the recreational UTV space. They are also considered by many to be the highest quality brand of the three and have over 600 distributors, dealers and factory branch locations.

It will be interesting to see if the autocycles from Elio and Arcimoto prove to be popular and encourage other manufacturers to join the fray.

Learn more:  Arcimoto.com

Learn more:  Eliomotors.com

 

NHTSA: New Sound Requirement For LSVs

Marc Cesare, Smallvehicleresource.com

The all new 2016 GEM e2.

New NHTSA regulations will require LSVs like the GEM e2 to emit sounds at low speeds to alert pedestrians.

New National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations will add a sound requirement to hybrids and electric light-duty vehicles to make them easier to perceive. The requirement mandates that hybrids and electric cars with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less must emit an audible sound when traveling at speeds of of approximately 19 miles per hour or less and when moving forward or in reverse. The regulation will apply to low speed vehicles. According to NHTSA,

“The new federal safety standard will help pedestrians who are blind, have low vision, and other pedestrians detect the presence, direction and location of these vehicles when they are traveling at low speeds, which will help prevent about 2,400 pedestrian injuries each year once all hybrids in the fleet are properly equipped….Manufacturers have until Sept. 1, 2019, to equip all new hybrid and electric vehicles with sounds that meet the new federal safety standard. Half of new hybrid and electric vehicles must be in compliance one year before the final deadline.”

At first glance the regulation does not cover golf cars, even tough in many areas they are allowed to operate on local streets. From NHTSA’s point of view a golf car is not a street legal vehicle, and therefore not regulated as a motor vehicle. LSVs, on the other hand, are street legal and regulated. A gray area may be modified golf cars which may meet LSV requirements but are not purposely manufactured as LSVs. I spoke with Thomas Healy in NHTSA’s legal office and a key determining factor is the speed of the vehicle. If a vehicle’s top speed is not more than 20 mph then it is not considered a motor vehicle. However, a golf car modified to meet Federal LSV requirements and modified to have a top speed over 20 mph may technically fall under this new regulation.

I also spoke with a dealer that sells LSVs to both colleges and consumers. The colleges like the idea of these vehicles having sound as a safety feature, since they are often navigating a campus environment crowded with pedestrians. A key reason colleges purchase LSVs rather than golf cars are the vehicle’s safety features. On the other hand, according to the dealer, consumers do not like the idea of constantly hearing a noise, especially at night. In fact, one of the reasons they like electric powered LSVs is their quiet operation. The irony is the regulation could incentivize LSV owners to drive faster, maintaining a speed over 19 mph as much as possible to avoid emitting the sound.

I also spoke with a public safety officer at The Villages in Florida. They have thousands of golf cars and LSVs and many miles of multi-modal paths. He stated that the lack of noise from electric powered vehicles did not stand out as a significant safety issue. In part, he suggested that the level of awareness among residence is a mitigating factor. With the large number of golf cars and LSVs operating in the community, as well as the multi-modal paths, residents have a heightened awareness of their surroundings and the dangers while traveling on foot. He also suggested that a safety sound emanating from so many vehicles could prove to be very annoying.

Learn more:  NHTSA.org (Press Release)

Learn more:  NHTSA Quiet Car Rule (PDF)

Road Use Regulation Roundup: November 2016

golf cart signThe following is a summary of some of the road use regulations for golf cars, LSVs, ATVs and UTVs that have been passed or are being considered at the state, county and city levels since August 2016.

Some trends in this latest regulation roundup:

  • Almost all of the regulation activity is occurring at the city level
  • Most of the ordinances are being considered but have not been passed yet.
  • Most of the ordinances concern allowing UTVs on city streets and a few concern golf cars or low-speed vehicles.
  • One city repealed an ordinance allowing utility vehicles on city streets because of safety concerns.

Nashville, TN – Elkhart County Commissioners passed an ordinance which would allow golf carts on all non-numbered county roads. The ordinance as proposed would allow the use of golf carts in all of the unincorporated areas of the county with the exception of numbered county roads, which for the most part would restrict their use to residential subdivisions. Vehicles could be used only from sunrise to sunset. The ordinance also regulates LSVs.

Kearney, MO – The city is considering a citizen’s request to allow the use of ATVs within the city. UTVs are already allowed. There is some concern by officials about the safety of ATVs being operated among larger vehicles such as trucks.

Fort Scott, KS – City officials are drafting an ordinance that will allow UTVs to be used on city streets. The police chief researched similar UTV ordinances in nearby communities and recommended that they be operated by licensed drivers at least 18 years of age and restrictions in place for certain city streets. There was some discussion on the speed of UTVs and whether tires on the vehicles are strictly for off-road use and would have proper traction on city streets. The city already has a golf car ordinance in place.

St. Augustine, FL – The City Commission passed new definitions and standards for low-speed vehicles like golf cars. They also discussed safety issues of using low-speed vehicles, golf cars and ScootCoupes (3-wheeled vehicles that can travel up to 40 mph) on certain roads. They are planning on analyzing the use of these same vehicles on a for-profit basis.

Hapeville, GA – The city is considering regulations to promote the use of low-speed vehicles and/or golf cars.

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada – The city is considering the use of ATVs and UTVs on municipal roads similar to other nearby municipalities.

Jasper, IN – The Jasper Police Department plans to increase enforcement of golf cars on city streets.

Landis, NC – The North Carolina Department of Transportation denied town requests to change the speed limits on two streets. In August, Landis made the request to lower the speed limit on both roads — along with several others — from 45 mph to 35 mph in order to allow golf carts and other low-speed vehicles to travel within the city limits.

Garner, IA – The City Council is considering an ordinance that will allow the use of ATVs and UTVs on city streets.

Kansas – The Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism commission is considering regulations that will allow golf cars and UTVs to be used on state park roads between sunrise and sunset.

Great Bend, KS – The City Council passed ordinances that would allow ‘micro-utility’ trucks on city streets. These vehicles are defined as any motor vehicle which is not less than 48 inches in width, has an overall length, including the bumper, of not more than 106 inches, has an unloaded weight, including fuel and fluids, of more than 1,500. Golf cars or all-terrain vehicles are not included.

New Hampton, IA – The City Council is likely to pass an ordinance that will allow golf cars and utility vehicles.

Festus, MO – Citing safety issues, the City Council repealed an ordinance passed last year that allowed utility vehicles to be used on city streets.

Nashville, TN – The Metro Transportation Licensing Commission voted to restrict pedal taverns, pedicabs and other pedal carriages as well as low-speed vehicles from operating between 7 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Congestion and safety concerns were the reasons.

 

4ekolka: A 3D Printed LSV

4ekolka

The 4ekolka, a prototype electric powered city car.

The 4ekolka is a 3D printed, electric powered vehicle out of Prague from Petr Chladek. The estimated cost to build this prototype vehicle was $12,000 with half of that for the batteries and battery management system. The vehicle is designed for a top speed of 55 km/h or approximately 34 mph. The 9.6 kWh battery pack consists of LiFePO4 batteries with a capacity of 200Ah @ 48V and the estimated range per charge is 200 km or 124 miles. The 4ekolka is expected to consume about 100 Wh compared to 200-300 Wh for most electric vehicles.

The expected market is for intra-city driving and as a secondary car. The designer is also investigating commercial uses. The vehicle is currently being tested on roads in Prague. Learn more:  Electrek.co

New Models Reveal Market Trends

While the growth of the small, task-oriented vehicle market (STOV) may not be as strong as a few years ago, the proliferation of new models since the beginning of the year indicate a competitive and still growing market. The STOV market includes utility vehicles(UTVs)/side-by-sides, golf cars and LSVs. UTVs make up the largest share of the STOV market and not surprisingly that is where much of the action is. The UTV segment is also where much of the growth opportunity is as well.

A review of over 25 brands and product lines including all of the major players in the UTV market, as well as smaller ones, shows that approximately 80 new models were launched since the end of 2015. These have included completely new entrants, product line extensions, special edition models customized for specific applications and product line upgrades.

2017 Wolverine EPS

Yamaha continues to build out their UTV line with models like the 2017 Wolverine EPS.

A major factor in this large number of new models has been the re-entry of established powersports brands into the market over the last several years. For example, Honda after being somewhat dormant after their Big Red UTVs pursued the market with their Pioneer line. Meanwhile Yamaha had built out the work oriented Viking line, the Wolverine crossover line and more recently attacked the pure recreational/sport segment with their YXZ line.

The Ranger XP 1000 EPS in Nara Bronze.

The Ranger XP 1000 EPS in Nara Bronze features more horsepower than the XP 900.

An analysis of recent model introductions illuminates important trends in the market including the continued push for higher horsepower vehicles, targeting ‘value’ buyers with lower price point models, developing models with accessory packages for specialized applications, and shifts in the electric UTV segment. These trends and others are discussed in an article a I recently posted in our buying guide section.

 

 

 

 

Road Use Regulation Roundup: August 2016

The following is a summary of some of the road use regulations for golf cars, LSVs, ATVs and UTVs that have been passed or are being considered at the state, county and city levels since May 2016.

Some trends in this latest regulation roundup:

  • The ordinances were roughly split half and half between those dealing with golf cars and LSVs and those related to ATVs and UTVs.
  • ATV/UTV ordinances allow for higher vehicle speeds compared to golf car and LSV ordinances.
  • Regulatory activity is happening primarily at the town or city level, but there is some action at the county level as well.
  • Most of the regulations are in favor of allowing golf car, LSV, UTV or ATV access. Those towns restricting or prohibiting use tend to be concerned about vehicle congestion on particularly high use roads.

Georgia Tech University, Atlanta, GA – A new low speed vehicle and golf car policy was passed requiring that any Georgia Tech unit owning or purchasing LSVs or golf carts must ensure these vehicles are street legal and register each of them with Georgia Tech Fleet Services. LSVs must not be driven on high-speed streets (above 35 mph), and golf carts must not be driven on streets with speed limits above 25 mph.

Grayson County, TX – Grayson County Commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday to allow golf carts or similar utility vehicles to operate on some roadways in unincorporated areas of the county. Licensed drivers will be allowed to operate the carts on public roadways with speed limits of 35 mph or less. The resolution is only for unincorporated areas of the county, not inside city limits. Utility vehicles are defined as being designed for off-highway utility work, not for recreation.

Poth, TX – The City Council is considering adopting an ordinance currently being used in Rockport, which requires annual inspections of neighborhood electric vehicles at a cost of $10, and insurance coverage. Each vehicle must have headlamps, tail lamps, reflectors, parking brakes, rear view mirrors, turn signals, seat belts, and a flag, mounted on a 6-foot pole, attached to the rear.

Panama City Beach, FL – A regulation was passed in May preventing the registration of LSVs unless they can prove they had ordered them before May 12. The city is concerned that the increasing number of LSVs, which grew from 93 to 194 in the past year, will become a road hazard on Front Beach Road. Many of the LSVs are from LSV rental businesses.

Canton, IL – A new ordinance allowing golf cars and UTVs generated more interest than expected as the city quickly went through the original 20 permit stickers they purchased in the first month. Utility vehicles must be issued a $50 annual permit by the city, renewable mid-year, and provide proof of liability insurance that has at least the same limits of coverage required by law for regular cars. Operators must also be at least 16 years old and licensed drivers.

Landis, NC – The town board passed ordinances that would allow low-speed vehicles on public roadways. Lowering the speed limit on a key roads for LSV travel was required. The Police Chief supported the ordinance.

China Grove, NC – The town passed an ordinance that would allow golf cars and low speed vehicles to travel between China Grove and nearby Landis. Insurance, drivers license and permit are required to the drive the vehicles on local streets but an operator would not need a permit from both towns. Lights are needed to drive the vehicles at night.

Wake Forest, NC – Town leaders are considering allowing golf cars on some city streets at the urging of local residents. The local police department is against the ordinance for safety reasons.

Red River, NM – The town repealed an ordinance allowing ATVs and UTVs to access certain roads because of concerns over safely operating ATVs at high speeds on road rather than off-road. Manufacturers state that ATVs shouldn’t be operated on paved roads. The town expects to pass a new ordinance that will prohibit ATVs but allow UTVs on certain roads and at speeds up to 45 mph.

Ames, IA – The town started issuing ATV and UTV licenses in August. ATVs/UTVs are able to travel on gravel roads during daylight hours but cannot exceed 45 mph. The vehicles must have front and rear lights and the owner/operators must be insured, over 16 and have a valid driver’s license.

Peosta, IA – The City Council shelved an ordinance regarding the use of golf cars, ATVs and UTVs on city streets . There is concern over vehicle congestion on the already highly trafficked streets that the vehicles would most likely use.

Girard City, KS – The City Council voted down a ordinance that would have allowed the use of golf cars, ATVs and UTVs on city streets.

Squamish, British Columbia, CA – District of Squamish staff is drafting a bylaw, which, if passed by council, would see low-speed, zero-emissions vehicles allowed on Squamish neighborhood streets. Staff is also investigating the possibility of a future bylaw to allow medium-speed vehicles. A low-speed bylaw would allow the vehicles to travel as slow as 40 kilometers per hour, while a medium-speed bylaw would cover vehicles that travel 60 kilometers per hour.

Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, CA – Premier Christy Clark has announced a pilot project that will allow golf carts on local roads (but not major highways) in the Township of Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island and the Village of Chase in the southern Interior. The move, which starts in September, is intended to give senior citizens another method of transportation around town to run errands.

New Georgia Tech Policy Favors LSVs

Georgia Tech recently instituted a new policy regarding low speed vehicles and golf cars. According to the policy, as of July 1, all LSVs or golf cars owned or purchased by any department must be street legal and registered with Georgia Tech Fleet Services, which will now only perform maintenance on registered vehicles. Furthermore, LSVs can only be driven on streets with speed limits of 35 mph or lower and golf cars on streets 25 mph or lower. There are a number of streets near the campus that only LSVs will now be able to drive. The new policy will also phase out any non-street legal golf cars and motorized vehicles by July 31, 2016. The policy does not impact landscape and maintenance utility vehicles. Learn more:  GATech.edu

Comment: This policy is likely to push departments to purchase LSVs rather than golf cars as they will require no modifications to be street legal and will have fewer restrictions with regards to driving on public streets. For a number of years the university and college market has been a good market for low speed vehicles. The institutions like the safety features of the vehicles, as compared to a golf car, and the ability to legally drive on nearby public streets, especially if they need to transverse public roads to access different campus locations.