May Mobility Launches Lexus-Based Shuttle

New shuttle platform debuts as part of Arlington RAPID in March 2021

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – May Mobility, a leader in autonomous vehicle (AV) technology and shuttle operations, announced today that it will add the Lexus RX450h to its shuttle fleets. This is May Mobility’s first AV technology integration into an OEM’s platform.

May Mobility will begin operating four autonomous Lexus shuttles, alongside one wheelchair-accessible Polaris GEM shuttle, in partnership with the City of Arlington, Texas as part of the RAPID (Rideshare, Automation, and Payment Integration Demonstration) program. The May Lexus shuttles, like the current May GEM shuttles, will be staffed by a Fleet Attendant and will begin testing on public roads in Arlington this week. They will be available for service using Arlington’s Via On-Demand Rideshare app when the route launches to the public in March 2021.

“Adding the Lexus RX450H to our fleet allows May Mobility to elevate the shuttle experience and expand the services and capabilities we can offer municipalities and riders,” said Edwin Olson, co-founder and CEO of May Mobility. “With this vehicle platform, we advance May Mobility’s mission to transform cities with safe, clean, and accessible autonomous shuttles.”

May Mobility’s shuttles leverage multiple types of redundant sensors. Technology modifications to the 2020 Lexus RX450h include the addition of seven cameras, a top-mounted long-range Velodyne Alpha Prime lidar, four short-range Ouster lidars, and five radars. These shuttles will include May’s Clean Shuttle technology, with features that include a partition between the Fleet Attendant and passengers as well as a grēnlite™ UV-C light treatment system for passenger health and safety.

Privately-held May Mobility was founded in 2017. Its most recent funding round was led by Toyota Motor Corporation with participation from SPARX Group alongside return investors Millennium Technology Value Partners, Cyrus Capital Partners, BMW iVentures, and Toyota AI Ventures.

About May Mobility
May Mobility is a leader in autonomous vehicle technology development and deployment. With more than 270,000 autonomous rides to date, May Mobility is committed to delivering safe, efficient and sustainable shuttle solutions designed to complement today’s public transportation options. The company’s ultimate goal is to realize a world where self-driving systems make transportation more accessible and reliable, the roads safer, and encourage better land use in order to foster more green, vibrant, and livable spaces. For more information, visit maymobility.com.

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Contact:
Afaf Farah
Telemetry Agency for May Mobility
248-346-0407

May Mobility, Umtri Awarded Funding, Advance to Semi Finalist round of USDOT Inclusive Design Challenge

Team A4 to develop independent wheelchair loading and passenger securement system for AV shuttles

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – On Wednesday, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced that a coalition of Ann Arbor-based mobility technology leaders were awarded $300,000 and selected as one of only 10 semifinalists to advance to the final round in the inaugural Inclusive Design Challenge.

May Mobility, a pioneer in autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), a leading research institution for accessibility in mobility, will lead the Ann Arbor Automated Accessibility team (Team A4) in designing and deploying an autonomous shuttle with an independent wheelchair loading and passenger securement system.

Team A4 also includes United Spinal Association, Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living, Feonix-Mobility Rising, and Braunability.

“We believe that public mobility systems must address challenges around equity and access to transportation,” said Edwin Olson, co-founder and CEO of May Mobility. “Working with riders, advocacy groups, the USDOT, and mobility researchers will help us better meet the needs of communities.”

UMTRI has previously worked on universal designs for wheelchair docking and automated wheelchair tie downs and will facilitate research, development, and user testing for the challenge. May Mobility plans to use these devices in accessible autonomous shuttles during future public deployments, a first in the industry.

“We are excited about the opportunity to take the research we’ve been doing in the lab and move forward with field evaluations to demonstrate how this approach can improve independence for people who use wheelchairs, while still prioritizing safety,” said Kathleen Klinich, Associate Director of UMTRI and principal investigator of the current project to develop prototype hardware elements that would allow passengers to dock their wheelchairs and don their seatbelts independently.

Currently, many wheelchair users rely on attendants in public transportation or assistance in their own vehicles for wheelchair securement. Automated loading and securement of wheelchairs in self-driving vehicles will be essential to fully realizing the promise of autonomous mobility for everyone.

The USDOT launched the Inclusive Design Challenge with a total $5,000,000 prize pool to fund innovative design solutions to enable people with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities to use automated vehicles to access jobs, healthcare, and other critical destinations. The May Mobility and UMTRI team, along with the nine other semifinalists, will participate in design charrettes this summer, with continued research and development throughout the year, and final awards made in summer 2022.

The project will also advance accessible transportation technologies beyond this use case. The docking and tiedown technologies are being tested on a Toyota Sienna, ensuring that the technologies developed as part of the Inclusive Design Challenge will be applicable to a wide variety of vehicles, from personally-owned adaptive vehicles to shared, autonomous shuttles.

May Mobility and UMTRI are pleased to be working on this project with BraunAbility, an industry leader that converts vehicles for use by occupants seated in wheelchairs, and with several key partners who represent the disability community.  United Spinal Association, a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit membership organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of all people living with spinal cord injuries and disorders, and the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living (AACIL), a dynamic and vibrant community enrichment, learning, and advocacy center providing classes, individualized counseling, programming, and resources to improve the quality of your life as someone with a disability or health condition, will provide input and feedback on wheelchair accessibility through feedback sessions and COVID-safe testing of the technology solution. Feonix – Mobility Rising, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing mobility options for underserved communities, will facilitate important links to feedback from paratransit drivers.

 

 

About May Mobility

May Mobility is unlocking a better life today through self-driving transportation. We deliver solutions that work in today’s communities to accelerate the path toward a future where people can drive less and live more. The company’s goal is to realize a world where self-driving systems increase the reliability of transportation, make the roads much safer, and encourage better land use in order to foster more green, vibrant, and livable spaces. For more information, visit maymobility.com.

About UMTRI

UMTRI is a global leader in transportation research and a partner of choice for industry leaders, foundations, and government agencies. UMTRI is one of the largest research institutes at the University of Michigan; the institute has conducted over 1,000 research projects and collected hundreds of terabytes of data. Our multidisciplinary research includes short and long-term projects in areas involving social and behavioral analyses, crash data analysis, and standards development and testing, as well as the deployment and evaluation of new safety and mobility technologies.

 

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Contact:

Afaf Farah

Telemetry Agency for May Mobility

248-346-0407

afa[email protected]