May Mobility Case Story: Understanding Customer Success

May Mobility’s vision is to transform communities literally. From the way that people get around to the way cities are built, May Mobility wants to use safe, accessible and sustainable autonomous driving technologies to transform cities where:

  • you can sit outside at a cafe under a tree, and actually hear your friend over the calm flow of multi-modal traffic
  • you can rely on affordable and reliable transportation options over a personal vehicle, and
  • transportation is accessible, convenient, and serves everyone.

To do this, May Mobility works hand-in-hand with local municipalities and other stakeholders to ensure this city transformation doesn’t happen in a vacuum and to ensure our services aren’t forced. Many rideshare services, bikes, scooters and other mobility modes have dropped into a community overnight — often against their will, cementing a sour relationship between the company and its users.

That’s no way to transform a city.

At May Mobility, a constant theme is working with communities, not imposing ourselves on them. To us, customer success starts with service that is built on a collaborative foundation. 

What True Service Looks Like 

Our belief is that true service comes from understanding what our customers need. This understanding comes from observing, listening, and then partnering on solutions. Each community has different needs. Some communities are looking to build a mobility ecosystem, while others want to showcase innovation or simply reduce parking congestion. Many of our partners are in the process of defining their mobility needs for the future – what their community will look like in five years. 

AVO in autonomous vehicle in Ann Arbor, MI

An Autonomous Vehicle Operator (AVO) on route in an autonomous Lexus RX 450h vehicle in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

May is in a unique position in our industry because we have deployed autonomous services in multiple locations, domestically and internationally. 282,000 rides around the world give us a lot of experience. In each location, we have AVOs (Autonomous Vehicle Operators) who interact with and learn from our riders on a daily basis and in real-time.

We use that experience to help our customers understand all that is possible and collaborate with them to find the best solution for them that benefits the community. 

Our approach is simply “Here is what we can do – now what can we do with that to best benefit the communities we serve and the users of our services?” 

Ask – Don’t Anticipate

May Mobility takes an anthropological approach to learn how riders use different modes of transportation. We ask a lot of questions: where do people travel? Are people more likely to walk or bike? How often are buses running without passengers? We dig deep into the environment and study the behaviors of people in the community. We also employ members of the community to lend expertise.

This approach is quite different from others in the mobility space. Far too often, companies begin by offering an existing product or service in a new city. To the community, this can feel as though large corporations are forcing mobility services upon them — and we see the results. 

A lot of these services end up failing simply because they didn’t take the time to understand what the community wants or needs.

A woman exiting a May Mobility shuttle in front of the Arlington theater in Arlington, TX.

A rider in Arlington, TX, where residents have taken over 9,000 rides with the RAPID program. Photo by Anthony La Penna.

And because of this approach of doing things to cities, many communities now suffer from mobility pollution: they’re filled with a lot of different transportation solutions that they didn’t ask for and that aren’t being utilized — and shareholder dollars end up in the garbage.

Through May’s collaborative process, our partners may find our service to be a lower dollar per rider over the long term, which for a cutting edge service is an incredible feat and a testament to how we deploy the right service for communities by asking the right questions.

Co-Creating the Future

At May, we create unique value with each and every project – while our autonomous shuttles are a constant, our deployments all solve real-world transportation issues on behalf of communities.  May has taken AV to the streets, and out of the labs and test tracks.   

Fishers, Indiana is a commuter city about 20 miles north of downtown Indianapolis. When we began working with our partners there, we needed to define the best way to incorporate shared mobility into a community that was car-heavy. Although many parking structures exist throughout the city, when we dug into the usage data, we noticed people used street parking instead. As we work with our partners to define the route, we will place shuttle stops in front of the parking structures to encourage people to use them and will replace several on-street parking spaces with stops as well. 

On the other hand, when May launched service in Indianapolis – the route included three IU Health stops: IU Pediatric Care, IU School of Dentistry and a stop near IU Hospital. Rather than create a service that was redundant to existing solutions, May identified areas where service is needed, which is the first step in creating value through first- and last-mile service.

At May, success is not simply providing our customers with a service or our riders with safety and comfort. We believe true success comes from creating a sustainable, long-term solution that impacts the community and improves people’s lives.  

A group of May Mobility employees in front of two Together in Motion shuttles.

May Mobility employees at the June 2021 launch of the Together in Motion Indianapolis service.

A2GO AUTONOMOUS SHUTTLE SERVICE LAUNCHES IN ANN ARBOR ON OCTOBER 11

Free on-demand service connects Kerrytown, UM campus and State Street corridor

ANN ARBOR, Mich.May Mobility, Mcity and Ann Arbor SPARK today inaugurated the launch of A2GO, a new autonomous vehicle (AV) shuttle service serving the Ann Arbor community. The free shuttle service is available to the public beginning Monday, Oct. 11, 2021, thanks in part to a grant through the mobility efforts of the state of Michigan. Additional partners on A2GO include !important Safety Technologies,  4MOffice of Future Mobility and Electrification and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

As part of the A2GO service, May Mobility will operate a fleet of five autonomous, shared, on-demand vehicles. Four hybrid-electric Lexus RX 450h vehicles (with three passenger capacity) and one Polaris GEM fully electric vehicle (with capacity for one wheelchair passenger) will operate in a 2.64 square-mile service area connecting Kerrytown with Downtown, the University of Michigan’s Central and South campuses, Pulse Campus and the State Street corridor. The free service is available Monday through Friday from 8 am – 8 pm and riders will access the service via the May Mobility app, which is available through the Apple App store and Google Play.

“From the talented workforce to the proximity of strong private and municipal partnerships, Ann Arbor has played a critical role in May Mobility’s success,” said Edwin Olson, CEO of May Mobility. “We are proud to bring our autonomous shuttle service to not just our hometown, but the place where our technology was born.”

Since originally announcing service in Ann Arbor, May Mobility has hired four full-time employees and will hire up to 20 autonomous vehicle operators to support the full A2GO deployment, with several open positions currently hiring. On October 12, 2021, May Mobility will host an official launch event in Ann Arbor offering demonstrations of its autonomous technology.

A2GO is May Mobility’s eighth shuttle deployment since the company began operations. May Mobility is currently operating shuttles in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Arlington, Texas, Hiroshima, Japan, and Indianapolis, Indiana.

“The deployment of A2GO exemplifies Michigan’s leadership and innovation in public-private partnerships to facilitate long lasting change within our mobility ecosystem,” said Trevor Pawl, Michigan’s Chief Mobility Officer. “We are excited to see the results of this pilot in the Ann Arbor community, as well as the next-generation solutions the team at May Mobility continues to bring to the state of Michigan.”

In developing A2GO, May Mobility worked with community and strategic partners who shared the company’s vision for equitable and sustainable public transportation solutions.

“Mcity is excited to be a partner in bringing A2GO to Ann Arbor,” said Greg McGuire, Associate Director at Mcity. “If we want to build the safer, greener, more accessible world we’re all striving for, learning by doing is essential. A2GO takes Mcity from an academic lab to a living lab, and will help us learn what we should be thinking about next.”

The A2GO service demonstrates how communities can work together to incorporate transportation, safety, land use, and economic development into the mobility landscape. One of the community partners involved in A2GO is 4M, Ann Arbor’s first co-living townhomes that offer co-working and mobility solutions to their members. A2GO’s site operations are located at 4M’s site, including garage parking for May Mobility’s autonomous shuttles, material storage and offices for onsite staff that maintain daily operations, train autonomous vehicle operators (AVOs) and manage rider and AVO communications.

“Our partnership with May Mobility and the other A2GO team members is critical to our evaluation of future value-based housing and lifestyle solutions and our planning for upcoming real estate projects and developments,” said Margaret Poscher, CEO at Prentice4M.

For !important Safety Technologies, a Montreal-based company with their US Headquarters in Ann Arbor, A2GO provides an opportunity to further advance their pedestrian safety technology, which communicates with nearby AVs to prevent collisions.

“!important is pleased to join the A2GO project as an opportunity to innovate with the population of Ann Arbor,” said Bastien Beauchamp, CEO of !important Safety Technologies. “For the first time, the public will have a direct input in the detection from an autonomous vehicle via our Free Mobile App. The anonymous data collected will help the city identify the weak and less safe zones in order to better plan infrastructures.”

The A2GO service also demonstrated the important role that Ann Arbor SPARK plays in advancing mobility in Ann Arbor and ensuring the community continues to be seen as a leader in the testing and adoption of AV technologies.

“Ann Arbor SPARK’s mission is to identify what businesses in our community need to grow, and with May Mobility, it was access to an urban living lab where it could test, advance, and deploy its technology,” said Paul Krutko, president and CEO, Ann Arbor SPARK. “It’s exciting to see A2GO launch and know that autonomous vehicle innovation isn’t just being developed here, but also enthusiastically welcomed as part of our region’s mobility infrastructure. Having leading edge technology on the streets in Ann Arbor is a signal that companies pushing towards what’s next will push forward here.”

 

About May Mobility

May Mobility is a leader in autonomous vehicle technology development and deployment. With more than 285,000 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.

 

About Mcity 

Mcity at the University of Michigan is leading the transition to connected and automated vehicles. Home to world-renowned researchers, a one-of-a-kind test facility, and on-road deployments. Mcity brings together industry, government, and academia to improve transportation safety, sustainability, and accessibility for the benefit of society. For more information, visit https://mcity.umich.edu.

 

About Ann Arbor SPARK

Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is advancing the region by encouraging and supporting business acceleration, attraction and retention. The organization identifies and meets the needs of business at every stage, from start-ups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit www.AnnArborUSA.org.

 

About Michigan’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (OFME)

The Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (OFME) works to increase mobility investment, expand Michigan’s smart infrastructure, enable the state’s mobility workforce and accelerate electric vehicle adoption to reaffirm Michigan as the global leader in transportation. The Office brings together mobility and electrification efforts across Michigan’s government, academic and private sector to create long-term economic opportunity and accelerate the development, deployment and adoption of advanced mobility technologies. It spans the existing foundation of successful state-led mobility initiatives through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy, among others. Visit www.michiganbusiness.org/OFME to learn more.

 

About 4M

Established in 2016, Prentice 4M is a premier Operator of Lifestyle Assets which are created through the alchemy of space, cost, style and convenience. Designed from the ground up as a platform that helps improve the lives of its guests, 4M provides flexibility and bespoke services to enhance living, working and socializing, creating a foundational sense of purpose based on the experiences 4M develops.  Learn more at www.prentice4m.com.

 

About !important Safety Technologies
!important Safety Technologies is an Ann Arbor-based startup that developed the world’s first ViDAR to complement vehicle cameras, radars, lidars, and sonars. !important’s free mobile safety app safely and anonymously detects pedestrians, wheelchairs, e-scooters, bicyclists, and motorcyclists to protect them from vehicular collisions. Their technology can also alert the A2GO Autonomous Vehicle Supervisor to apply the vehicle’s brakes when needed. To download !important’s Safety app for free, please visit www.important.com.

 

May Mobility: Craig Daitch, Telemetry Public Relations, (248) 880-4403 [email protected]
Prentice4M: Eric Zughaib, [email protected]

MEDC: Otie McKinley, Media and Communications Manager, [email protected]

Ann Arbor SPARK: Jenn Cornell Queen, Senior Vice President, [email protected]

Mcity, University of Michigan: Susan Carney, Communications Director, (734) 223-6531, [email protected]

!important Safety Technologies: Bastien Beauchamp, CEO, (855) 231-3783, [email protected]

Getting to know May Mobility CEO Edwin Olson

For someone who built robots throughout undergrad, it never occurred to May Mobility CEO Edwin Olson that he could make a career out of robotics. After two false starts as a graduate student however, Olson took to the field, finding himself out on a boat in the Mediterranean helping with an autonomous submarine and then in the California desert working on MIT’s autonomous car for the DARPA Urban Challenge. 

Image of Edwin Olson with an autonomous submarine in 2002

Edwin Olson with the Bluefin Odyssey III autonomous submarine in 2002.

“On the DARPA Urban Challenge competition day, we hit the ‘go’ button and the car drove off into the distance, first disappearing around a corner, then its audible beeper fading away. Six nervous hours had passed when I heard the faintest whisper of our car’s beeper, growing louder and louder. It was an amazing feeling to hear the sound of that beeper that signaled our car had completed its mission and was almost home. I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.”

Edwin Olson graduated with his PhD from MIT in 2008 and joined the faculty at the University of Michigan to continue his work on autonomous vehicles. While at the University of Michigan, he led the winning team in the 2010 Mobile Autonomous Ground-robotic International Competition (MAGIC) by developing a team of 14 robots that semi-autonomously explored and mapped a large-scale urban environment.

The winning team of semi-autonomous robots from the 2010 MAGIC competition.

He also worked with Ford on their autonomous vehicles before joining Toyota Research Institute as a co-director of autonomous driving.

While there were a number of research opportunities in robotics, the culmination of years spent in research left Edwin driven to develop autonomous technologies so they could solve real world problems.   

“I’ve always been less interested in proofs of concept and more interested in solving real-world problems,” shared Edwin. “I looked around and saw all these problem domains where robots were a solution to real problems that are important to society, and that’s what led to May Mobility. How do we take the technology that we have into the world and actually generate impact and improve people’s lives with it?”

Bringing Technology with Impact to May Mobility

With transportation inequity a noted and growing issue in the United States, Edwin co-founded May Mobility in 2017, focused on developing autonomous solutions that would have an immediate impact on solving the issue in heavily affected cities.

“Technology without impact is pointless,” said Edwin. “Yes, it’s interesting to make and operate a driverless vehicle. But what’s even more interesting is to use that technology to provide a service that reduces congestion, makes better use of space and over time, can change the way we live in cities with green spaces and affordable housing in place of traffic jams and parking lots.”

That clarity of mission has allowed May to focus on the transportation solutions needed today rather than trying to predict what might be possible years or decades down the road. It keeps the company driven to innovate solutions that will help people get to and from school, to the grocery store, to doctors appointments and jobs. 

Edwin Olson at the Together in Motion Indianapolis launch event in June of 2021. To read more about Together in Motion visit our webpage.

In order to have the most immediate impact, May prioritizes communities with the greatest transportation inequities and focuses on first and last mile routes. By collaborating with community and corporate partners, May creates autonomous solutions unique to each market.  

“Very poor equity exists in transportation, and it’s not for lack of trying on the community or city level,” said Edwin. “Many communities don’t have the tools they need to provide equitable and accessible transportation. That’s where May Mobility comes in – we bring new tools to the table that help them deliver transportation solutions that transform people’s lives.”

From Transactions to Transformations

After four years and more than 275,000 revenue-generating rides, what gets Edwin the most excited is hearing how May’s technologies have translated into real world changes for its riders. And despite leading a team of 200 May employees in 7 cities around the world, he remains active in solving problems and identifying mobility solutions that help transform cities.

“When you hear these stories about two-plus hour commutes being replaced with more work, more time with family or simply more time to rest, you realize we’re doing so much more than simply moving people to jobs, medical care or grocery stores. We’re expanding access to more and better opportunities that improve the daily lives, health, financial security and ultimately happiness of our riders,” said Edwin. “That’s the kind of impact that I get really excited about: hearing how what we are doing translates into better lives for everyday people.”

How May Mobility Uses Imagination to Drive Innovation

Giving our Autonomous Vehicles the Power of Choice

It’s fairly straightforward to tell an autonomous vehicle (AV) how to respond to specific situations it might encounter on the road. In situation 1, do X. In situation 2, do Y. The challenge comes from the number of situations that an AV might encounter. Will the AV do the right thing in situation 43,768?

At May Mobility, one of our key technologies is Multi-Policy Decision Making (MPDM). MPDM is our way of reframing the challenge: instead of telling the vehicle when to do what (which is hopeless), we give the vehicle options and let it decide for itself which option is best.

In a sense, we’re giving our AV’s an imagination.

The image shows a May Mobility employee demonstrating an MPDM maneuver on their desktop.

Sajan Patel, Senior Robotics Engineer at May Mobility, demonstrates a particular driving scenario using MPDM.

By giving our AV’s an imagination– the ability to imagine what might happen if it does X, or if it does Y, we can simulate the likely outcome of X (perhaps “pass the car in front of us”) versus the likely outcome of Y (perhaps “follow the slow car”). This imagination makes it much easier to determine whether X or Y is the better option. MPDM is not making decisions at the individual “action” level– for example gas/brake/steer, or specific trajectories that our car will follow. In contrast, each policy that we choose between is a driving strategy that can adapt its behavior in response to what other road users are doing.

It’s fair to say that every AV company does simulation offline. Their reason for doing so is to measure the quality of their AV software. May Mobility has differentiated our approach by doing simulation online; simulation that accounts for the actions and responses of our AVs to what’s taking place on the road is very different. Understanding the way that road users interact with each other is absolutely critical to driving well.

In this gif, the green rectangle is a May Mobility autonomous shuttle simulating how it could maneuver around the green and purple polygon, which is a parked vehicle in front of it. The vehicle behind it (yellow polygon) is making a left turn from behind the May shuttle. The different lines shooting out of each agent show their various future trajectories as simulated by MPDM, and the darker the trajectory, the more likely that future outcome will occur.

To achieve online simulations that enable an AV to imagine outcomes, the MPDM simulator on our vehicles has to be extremely fast. For example, MPDM runs tens of thousands of times faster than real-time, which allows May to imagine different future outcomes. We can vary both our AVs strategies as well as the strategies of other road users. No single simulation is right, but by simulating enough possible scenarios, we can decide whether strategy X is better/safer/more comfortable than strategy Y. And this is where things get interesting. A consequence of electing a particular policy with MPDM is that we actually don’t know what the vehicle will do. Not exactly. And of course we don’t know exactly what other road users are going to do either. It doesn’t make sense to say “here’s the trajectory I’m going to follow.” What we do have is a probabilistic characterization of the types of trajectories that a policy might generate. And that lets us pick the best/safest/most comfortable trajectory.

The gif depicts a May Mobility autonomous vehicle making a right turn.

A May Mobility autonomous vehicle uses MPDM to simulate its own behavior and the behavior of other road users as it makes a right turn.

Put in layman’s terms, everyone has experienced driving on the road with “so-so” drivers –  the ones who technically follow the rules of the road but create hazards for other road users. For example, you’re not required to make space for a vehicle merging in, but it makes the road safer for everyone if you do. When we consider the result of choosing strategy X or Y, we evaluate the safety for everyone, not just our own vehicle. And so our vehicle leaves a little more space for a bicycle or pedestrian, even if it didn’t have to.

Of course, MPDM isn’t magic, and there are still iterative opportunities that we can improve upon. Building better agent models– so our predictions are better– is a big one. Designing policies and ensuring our AVs learn them is another. The remarkable thing about our technology stack is how consistent it has been in design and intention. We’ve simply been pushing it forward along a path we imagined back in 2017, step by step.

The advantages of MPDM are huge. Instead of telling the AV when it should do what– which doesn’t scale– we let the AV imagine the outcomes itself. That leads to emergent behavior, where the vehicle can solve problems that we never considered. Our system gets smarter every time we add a new policy – we’re up to 14 now, because MPDM has more options to choose from. And that efficiency is one of the reasons why May Mobility has been able to launch in seven cities, despite being much smaller than most AV companies. Technology matters and we’re proving it every day.

All you need is a little bit of imagination.

To learn more about MPDM, you can watch our introductory video here.

May Mobility Announces On-Demand Autonomous Service In Grand Rapids, Michigan

New service zone introduces flexible, dynamic AV rides for residents.

 

ANN ARBOR, Mich.Aug. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — May Mobility, a leader in autonomous vehicle (AV) technology and shuttle operations, in partnership with the City of Grand RapidsVia, the leader in TransitTech, and Gentex, today announced the launch of an on-demand AV shuttle service in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The expanded, on-demand service began on July 26, 2021, as part of Phase 2 of the Grand Rapids Autonomous Vehicle Initiative (AVGR), and transitions the prior fixed route AV service into a flexible, dynamic system in a new service zone.

May Mobility’s 1.36 sq. mile service zone includes more than 20 designated pick up and drop off areas in downtown Grand Rapids.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with the City of Grand Rapids through an expanded zone in the downtown area,” said Edwin Olson, co-founder and CEO of May Mobility. “The new service allows us to explore transportation needs in new areas of the community and provides additional opportunities for people to experience safer, greener, more accessible transportation through autonomous mobility.”

The on-demand service, which includes four May Mobility Lexus RX450h vehicles and one wheelchair-accessible Polaris GEM equipped with May Mobility’s autonomous technology, operates within a 1.36 sq. mile service zone that includes more than 20 designated pick up and drop off areas in downtown Grand Rapids. The May Mobility AV shuttles are free to ride and operate Monday – Friday from 7am – 7 pm.

May Mobility’s new on-demand service includes four May Mobility Lexus RX450h vehicles and one wheelchair-accessible Polaris GEM equipped with May Mobility’s autonomous technology.

“The City of Grand Rapids has enjoyed its partnership with May Mobility to provide innovative mobility options through the Grand Rapids Autonomous Vehicle Initiative. We look forward to embarking on this next phase together and support continued development of autonomous mobility technology while providing another equitable mobility option to connect underserved neighborhoods in Ward 1 to the downtown area,” said Justin Kimura, the Assistant Director of Mobile GR.

Transitioning to “On Demand”
May Mobility has adopted Via’s autonomous fleet platform to power booking, routing, passenger and vehicle assignment and identification, customer experience, and fleet management as part of their new flexible transit solution for this Grand Rapids deployment. The partners have a long-term strategy to introduce driverless on-demand shared transit systems in multiple locations. The Grand Rapids launch follows the companies’ joint RAPID autonomous vehicle service in Arlington, Texas. RAPID offers autonomous vehicle rides as part of the City of Arlington’s large on-demand public transit service with Via, and is the first-of-its kind in the US.

“In order for autonomous vehicles to reach their full potential as part of large-scale transit networks, they must be on-demand, optimally routed, and shared by multiple passengers,” said Cariann Chan, SVP of Business, Via. “We are proud to work with May Mobility to offer Via’s flexible platform to help achieve this goal, and to play a leading role in this new era of efficient and equitable transportation solutions in Grand Rapids.”

Riders can request vehicles within the designated area of service by downloading the May Mobility mobile application, which is available for both Android and iOS devices. The app shows the rider the nearest pickup location and suggested drop off location within closest proximity to their point of interest.

 

No Item Left Behind
It’s a common situation when an item such as a mobile device, a briefcase or a purse is left on public transportation and the subsequent feeling of helplessness that follows. May Mobility and Gentex are working together to integrate a data capture system with sensing pods into the May Mobility self-driving shuttles that will help the companies develop technology to track objects, monitor passenger health and safety, and keep the vehicle clean and operational.

“We’re excited to continue our partnership with May Mobility,” said Neil Boehm, Gentex chief technology officer.  “This service expansion not only provides the city with a unique, supplemental public transport hub, but also acts as a real-world laboratory for studying, evaluating, and testing various safety and convenience components necessary to better support passengers in the autonomous age.”

To celebrate the launch of the on-demand service in an adjacent service zone May Mobility and MobileGR will host demonstration rides on Aug. 24 from 10 am – 4 pm. at the YMCA Grand Rapids, 475 Lake Michigan Dr NW.

 

About May Mobility

May Mobility is a leader in autonomous vehicle technology development and deployment. With more than 275,000 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.

 

About Gentex

Founded in 1974, Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ: GNTX) is a supplier of automatic-dimming rearview mirrors and electronics to the automotive industry, dimmable aircraft windows for aviation markets, and fire protection products to the fire protection market. Visit the company website at www.gentex.com.

 

About the City of Grand Rapids

The City of Grand Rapids provides a full range of services to residents, students and visitors. Grand Rapids is a diverse and culturally rich community of nearly 200,000 residents located along the banks of the Grand River, 30 miles east of Lake Michigan. It is the second-largest city in Michigan and serves as the county seat of Kent County and the economic engine for the western part of the state. Grand Rapids has been recognized nationally for its quality of life and named one of the 25 best places to live in the U.S. It also has been touted among the best cities to start a career, raise a family and retire, among others. Stay connected with City news, events and information at: grandrapidsmi.usfacebook.com/CityofGrandRapids , twitter.com/CityGrandRapids, and instagram.com/citygrandrapids.

 

About Via

Founded in 2012, Via pioneered the TransitTech category by using new technologies to power public mobility systems, optimizing networks of dynamic shuttles, buses, wheelchair accessible vehicles, school buses, and autonomous vehicles around the globe. Building the world’s most efficient, equitable, and sustainable transportation network for all riders — including those with limited mobility, those without smartphones, and unbanked populations — Via works with its partners to lower the cost of public transit and provide accessible options that rival the convenience of a personal car at a much reduced environmental impact. At the intersection of transportation and technology, Via is a visionary market leader that combines software innovation with sophisticated service design and operational expertise to fundamentally improve the way the world moves, with 500 global partners on six continents, and counting.

TOYOTA MOBILITY FOUNDATION, ENERGY SYSTEMS NETWORK, AND MAY MOBILITY INAUGURATE FREE AUTONOMOUS SHUTTLE SERVICE IN INDIANAPOLIS

INDIANAPOLIS (June 22, 2021) – The Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF), Energy Systems Network (ESN), and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), have joined with May Mobility, a leader in autonomous vehicle (AV) technology and shuttle operations, to inaugurate the launch of a free autonomous shuttle service in Central Indiana. The service, a part of TMF’s Together in Motion Indiana, began on June 1, 2021 and serves the downtown Indianapolis and Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) communities. Together in Motion is an initiative bringing stakeholders together to test the interoperability of mobility innovations and facilitates the efficient movement of people and goods. The autonomous shuttle service supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Sustainable Cities and Communities goal (#11), as well as Toyota’s commitment to providing Mobility for All.

“At May Mobility, our mission is to bring safe, accessible, and reliable mobility solutions to communities around the world,” said Edwin Olson, co-founder and CEO of May Mobility. “We’re excited to be bringing AV technology to Central Indiana through our partnership with the Toyota Mobility Foundation, Energy Systems Network, and IndyGo.”

 

The Together in Motion AV shuttle service began on June 1, 2021 and runs through November 19, 2021, operating Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The free service is available to the public and features five Lexus RX 450h vehicles and one wheelchair-accessible Polaris GEM shuttle equipped with May Mobility’s autonomous technology.

 

There are nine designated stops in Indianapolis, each identifiable by a sign providing route information and a scannable QR code leading to the Together in Motion Indiana website. Through the QR code, riders can learn more about May Mobility technology and the shuttle route. Shuttles arrive in 10- to 15-minute intervals on a rotating loop. The route was designed to increase mobility options by providing a connection from the Vermont Station – along IndyGo’s Red Line – to areas west of downtown. Additionally, the route circles the IU Health University Hospital and the Riley Hospital for Children campuses. Riders can plan their trips on Google Maps, and if desired, can see live updates of a shuttle’s location.  

 

“IndyGo exists to connect our community to economic and cultural opportunities through safe, reliable, and accessible mobility experiences,” said Lesley Gordon, V.P. of Communications and Marketing. “We will continue to lend our knowledge and expertise with the team at May Mobility, and to work alongside these industry leaders as they seek to improve Central Indiana’s mobility ecosystem.”

 

To ensure the health and safety of riders, masks are currently required for all passengers and fleet attendants. Shuttles will carry only one household per ride, and all shuttles are equipped with partitions and UVC disinfectant lights that will clean the shuttle interior between rides. 

 

The AV shuttle service is part of the Together in Motion Indiana initiative announced earlier this year by TMF and ESN which aims to foster innovation through industry partnerships and propel research and development in advanced mobility technologies in Indiana. The initiative supports the deployments of various mobility solutions to better serve the transportation needs of the local communities, to understand the changing ecosystems surrounding these needs, to potentially expand such initiatives into other communities, and to establish networks for the sharing and leveraging of key learnings. As each mobility solution is developed with local community input, this human-centered approach facilitates the implementation of valued activities and the commercialization of an array of cooperative options

 

“Indiana is the ideal location to launch the first Together in Motion initiative because of the strong local partnerships with Energy Systems Network and the local communities,” said Ryan Klem, Director of Programs, Toyota Mobility Foundation. “They have facilitated May Mobility’s integration into the local transportation offerings, and we look forward to learning about local use and impact so that we can transfer and scale this knowledge to other locations.”

 

Prior to opening the shuttle service to the public, May Mobility provided Indianapolis residents and Indy 500 race week guests free 10-minute-long rides along a special demonstration route near the Indiana Statehouse. Over 60 attendees experienced the AV shuttle service in a Lexus RX 450h equipped with May Mobility’s autonomous technology. 

 

“Bringing innovative mobility solutions to Indiana with partners steeped in advancing autonomous technology is positioning the state as a leader in this in-demand and growing sector,” said Dave Roberts, chief innovation officer, Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “Engaging with ESN, Toyota Mobility Foundation and May Mobility to assist in this effort, shows the commitment to finding the best technology partners to provide additional transportation resources to residents throughout the state.”

 

In the next phase of the initiative, May Mobility will operate an AV shuttle route in Fishers, Indiana. This service is slated to begin in November 2021.

 

+++

 

About Toyota Mobility Foundation

The Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) was established in August 2014 by the Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) to support the development of a more mobile society in which everyone can move freely. The Foundation underscores TMC’s on-going commitment to continuous improvement and respect for people. It utilizes Toyota’s expertise and technologies to support strong mobility systems while eliminating disparities in mobility. TMF works in partnership with universities, governments, non-profits, research institutions and other organizations, creating programs are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to address mobility issues around the world. 

 

About Energy Systems Network (ESN)

ESN is an Indianapolis-based nonprofit initiative focused on the development of the advanced energy technology and transportation sectors. Over the last decade, ESN has collaborated with a range of industry, academia, and government partners to deliver sustainable energy and mobility solutions, including electric car sharing, vehicle-to-smart grid communications, mobility-as-a-service, and others. ESN’s mission is to leverage its network of global thought leaders to develop integrated energy solutions to increase quality of life for today and tomorrow. The company’s focus is to: reduce costs, emissions and waste; influence policy; and advance technological innovation. For more information, visit www.energysystemsnetwork.com.

 

About May Mobility

May Mobility is a leader in autonomous vehicle technology development and deployment. With more than 275,000 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.

 

Media Contacts: 

 

Raquel Bahamonde

Senior Director of Communications, Energy Systems Network 

317-319-6875 

[email protected]

 

Alissa Moceri 

Toyota Mobility Foundation 

[email protected] 

 

Craig Daitch

Telemetry Public Relations for May Mobility

(248) 880-4403

[email protected]

 

MAY MOBILITY NAMES RYAN GREEN AS FIRST CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

ANN ARBOR, Mich.–  May Mobility, a leader in autonomous vehicle (AV) technology and shuttle operations, today announced the appointment of Ryan Green as its first Chief Financial Officer. Ryan brings over 20 years of experience leading financial functions and will focus on positioning May Mobility for growth. 

A headshot of May Mobility's CFO Ryan Green.

Green in 2021.

“With experience at the intersection of automotive, technology, and growth-stage companies, Ryan is an exceptional CFO for May Mobility,” said Edwin Olson, Chief Executive Officer of May Mobility. “Adding his knowledge and experience to our team will help us continue to accelerate our business and execute May Mobility’s vision.”

Green joins the company most recently from American electric vehicle maker and automotive technology company, Rivian, where he led their finance, accounting and corporate governance functions, growing a department of five to a staff of more than one hundred. Prior to Rivian, he served as CFO at Harley Davidson Financial Services, with previous experience at Ford/Visteon.

“I am beyond excited to join May Mobility and help the company continue to accelerate growth,” said Green. “What drew me to the company is how we directly impact the communities we serve. The clarity of May Mobility’s mission to provide a safer, greener, more accessible world through autonomous mobility is something I look forward to supporting in my role as CFO.”


Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in finance from Michigan State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Wayne State University. To learn more about May Mobility’s leadership team, visit maymobility.com/meet-may/

About May Mobility

May Mobility is a leader in autonomous vehicle technology development and deployment. With more than 275,000 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.

 

Contact:

Craig Daitch

Telemetry Public Relations for May Mobility

(248) 880-4403

[email protected]

MAY MOBILITY LAUNCHES PUBLIC ROAD TESTING OF NATIVELY AUTOMATED VEHICLE BASED ON THE SIENNA

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – May Mobility, a leader in autonomous vehicle (AV) technology and shuttle operations, announced today that it is testing a Toyota Sienna equipped with the next generation of its autonomous driving kit (ADK) and will work with Toyota to add the vehicle to public shuttle fleets in 2022. 

 

The automated vehicle based on the Sienna features Toyota’s highly adaptable Vehicle Control Interface (VCI), allowing for seamless technology integration and robust operation of key vehicle control systems, such as steering, brakes, and acceleration.

 

“As we’ve seen throughout the industry, companies developing self-driving vehicles need strong OEM partners to be successful,” said Edwin Olson, co-founder and CEO of May Mobility. “With Toyota, May Mobility can deploy our unique self-driving technology on the best vehicles in the world.”

 

The Sienna technology integration is a major milestone in May Mobility’s cooperative relationship with Toyota. From the initial investment in May Mobility to the Series B fundraising in 2019, the relationship has expanded to include a shuttle fleet in Hiroshima, Japan with MONET (a joint venture between Softbank and Toyota). May Mobility was also selected to provide autonomous shuttle services in Indianapolis, Indiana, as part of a Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) initiative beginning later this spring.

 

Keiji Yamamoto, Operating Officer of Toyota and President of Connected Company said: “We are delighted that Toyota’s “Autono-MaaS*”(autonomous-mobility as a service) vehicle based on the Sienna will be utilized for May Mobility’s public road testing. This vehicle is equipped with the Vehicle Control Interface (VCI) that can easily connect to the ADK. Toyota continues to collaborate with automated mobility service providers through these vehicles and is implementing Autono-MaaS swiftly, aiming to realize a society where all people have the freedom of movement.“

 

Modifications to the Sienna include the addition of LIDAR, RADAR, and camera sensors, along with the compute and control modules that make up May Mobility’s autonomous driving kit. The May Mobility Toyota Sienna shuttle is currently being tested on public roads in Ann Arbor. Additional shuttles are under development and will be ready for use in public fleets in 2022.

 

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, among others.

 

 *Combination of “autonomous” and “mobility as a service,” describing Toyota’s mobility services using automated driving vehicles.

 

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.

 

Contact:

Craig Daitch

Telemetry Public Relations for May Mobility

(248) 880-4403

[email protected]

A2GO AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE SHUTTLE SERVICE COMING TO ANN ARBOR IN OCTOBER

ANN ARBOR, Mich.May Mobility, Mcity and Ann Arbor SPARK announced the launch of A2GO, a new autonomous vehicle (AV) shuttle service during the Ann Arbor SPARK annual meeting today. The free shuttle service will be available to the public starting on Mon., Oct. 11, 2021, thanks in part to a grant through the mobility efforts of the state of Michigan. Additional partners on A2GO include !important Safety Technologies4M, Office of Future Mobility and Electrification and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.  

 

“We are thrilled to be launching a new shuttle service here in our hometown so that our friends, family and the entire community of Ann Arbor can experience our self-driving technology first hand,” said Edwin Olson, founder and CEO of May Mobility. 

 

May Mobility will operate a fleet of five autonomous, shared, on-demand vehicles as part of the A2GO deployment. Four hybrid-electric Lexus RX 450h vehicles (with three passenger capacity) and one Polaris GEM fully electric vehicle (with capacity for one wheelchair passenger) will operate in a service area that connects Kerrytown, the University of Michigan campus and the State Street corridor. To use A2GO, the free May Mobility app will be available closer to the launch date.

 

“This deployment demonstrates the collaboration happening in Michigan across public and private sectors that is driving impactful transportation solutions for individuals and creating an environment where companies like May Mobility can find long-term growth and success,” said Trevor Pawl, Chief Mobility Officer for the state of Michigan. “A2GO combines Michigan’s opportunistic approach to the advancement of new mobility technology with our commitment to improving the quality of life for people across the state and we are excited to help bring this innovative shuttle service from May Mobility to Ann Arbor.”

 

A2GO is May Mobility’s eighth shuttle deployment since the company began operations. May Mobility is currently operating shuttles in Grand Rapids, Mich., Arlington, Texas, and Hiroshima, Japan, and will be launching in Indianapolis, Ind. at the beginning of June.

 

The A2GO service requires the support of the community and strategic partners with common goals of making equitable and sustainable public transportation available. This unique service demonstrates how the mobility landscape is evolving, with partners representing transportation, safety, land use, and economic development. A primary example of how mobility can impact economic development and land use is 4M, Ann Arbor’s first co-living townhomes that offer co-working and mobility solutions to their members.

 

“4M invested in this important partnership because we believe new mobility solutions, especially those that provide the opportunity for transportation equity, are critically important for next generation community building and sustainability,” said Margaret Poscher, 4M Managing Partner.

 

Leveraging AV transportation solutions in programs such as A2GO will allow for the further refinement of the technology and lead to greater adoption by the public. 

 

“Automated vehicle technology has great potential,” said Greg McGuire, associate director, Mcity at the University of Michigan. “We demonstrated that with the Mcity Driverless Shuttle research project that wrapped up in 2019. Ultimately, however, the technology must be proven as the foundation for a valuable transportation service. A2GO takes Mcity down a path from academic research into a more public arena. We’re moving out of the lab into the living lab, if you will. And we’ll measure results in a way that more realistically reflects the potential of AV services to integrate smoothly with existing public transit systems, and make transportation more accessible to more people.”

 

This project also engages !important Safety, a Montreal-based company that opened their US Headquarters at Ann Arbor SPARK in 2019. This project provides an opportunity to advance development of their pedestrian safety technology, which communicates with nearby AV’s to prevent collisions.

 

“Ann Arbor proves once again that it is a powerhouse for innovation with its mobility initiative known as A2GO, and !important is proud to be a part of it,” said Bastien Beauchamp, CEO of !important. “The city’s A2GO initiative brings safety to the highest level possible by integrating with our free, smartphone safety app for the people of Ann Arbor.”

 

The A2GO service is another example of Ann Arbor SPARK’s work in furthering the community’s place as a mobility leader. 

 

“Connecting companies like May Mobility and !Important Safety is a way SPARK’s work advances our economy, ensuring that the technology our futures demands is being developed here in the Ann Arbor region,” said Paul Krutko, Ann Arbor SPARK president and CEO. “The power of partnerships is evident in May Mobility and !Important Safety working together to improve the safety of autonomous vehicles, which is critical to ensuring pedestrian safety and consumer adoption of this emerging technology. It’s exciting that work being developed and tested in Ann Arbor has potential global impact.”

 

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.

About Mcity 

Mcity at the University of Michigan is leading the transition to connected and automated vehicles. Home to world-renowned researchers, a one-of-a-kind test facility, and on-road deployments. Mcity brings together industry, government, and academia to improve transportation safety, sustainability, and accessibility for the benefit of society. For more information, visit https://mcity.umich.edu

About Ann Arbor SPARK

Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is advancing the region by encouraging and supporting business acceleration, attraction and retention. The organization identifies and meets the needs of business at every stage, from start-ups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit www.AnnArborUSA.org.

About Michigan’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (OFME)

The Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (OFME) works to increase mobility investment, expand Michigan’s smart infrastructure, enable the state’s mobility workforce and accelerate electric vehicle adoption to reaffirm Michigan as the global leader in transportation. The Office brings together mobility and electrification efforts across Michigan’s government, academic and private sector to create long-term economic opportunity and accelerate the development, deployment and adoption of advanced mobility technologies. It spans the existing foundation of successful state-led mobility initiatives through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Department of Transportation, the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy, among others. Visit www.michiganbusiness.org/OFME to learn more.

About 4M

Established in 2016, Prentice 4M is a premier Operator of Lifestyle Assets which are created through the alchemy of space, cost, style and convenience. Designed from the ground up as a platform that helps improve the lives of its guests, 4M provides flexibility and bespoke services to enhance living, working and socializing, creating a foundational sense of purpose based on the experiences 4M develops.  Learn more at www.prentice4m.com.

About !important Safety Technologies
!important Safety Technologies is an Ann Arbor-based startup that developed the world’s first ViDAR to complement vehicle cameras, radars, lidars, and sonars. !important’s free mobile safety app safely and anonymously detects pedestrians, wheelchairs, e-scooters, bicyclists, and motorcyclists to protect them from vehicular collisions. Their technology can also alert the A2GO Autonomous Vehicle Supervisor to apply the vehicle’s brakes when needed. To download !important’s Safety app for free, please visit www.important.com.

 

# # # 

 

Contacts:

May Mobility: Craig Daitch, Telemetry Public Relations, (248) 880-4403 [email protected]

MEDC: Otie McKinley, Media and Communications Manager, [email protected]

Ann Arbor SPARK: Jenn Cornell Queen, Senior Vice President, [email protected] 

Mcity, University of Michigan: Susan Carney, Communications Director, (734) 223-6531, [email protected] 

!important Safety Technologies: Bastien Beauchamp, CEO, (855) 231-3783, [email protected]

MAY MOBILITY JOINS PARTNERSHIP FOR TRANSPORTATION INNOVATION AND OPPORTUNITY

ANN ARBOR, Mich. and WASHINGTON, DC – Today, May Mobility and the Partnership for Transportation Innovation and Opportunity (PTIO) announced that May Mobility has joined the coalition and its mission to study the impact of autonomous vehicles (AVs) on the workforce to ensure that deployment of the technology will improve quality of life and economic opportunity for all Americans.

 

 

“Planning for a workforce of the future is a critical component to May Mobility’s mission to support cities with safe, clean, and accessible autonomous shuttles. This mission starts with the transportation workers who help bring our autonomous services to the communities we serve,” said May Mobility vice president and chief of staff Rohit Bery. “We are committed to supporting PTIO and working with our coalition partners to help ensure a future where everyone benefits from autonomous mobility solutions.”

 

PTIO is led by its members at the American Trucking Associations, Daimler, FedEx, Ford, Lyft, Toyota Motor North America, UPS, and Waymo. The organization is working together with policymakers, industry, academia, and other interested stakeholders to identify policies and programs that ensure our entire workforce is prepared for the deployment of AVs and will ultimately benefit from this exciting technology. 


“May Mobility will provide unique insights and perspectives to PTIO’s work as the company has actively provided autonomous shuttle rides to over 270,000 people across multiple cities,” said PTIO Executive Director Kathryn Branson. “We are thrilled to have another leading AV company join us in our efforts to fully understand what AVs mean for the workforce, and subsequently derive policies that prepare incumbent workers and the workforce of tomorrow for this promising innovation. We welcome May as our newest member and will value its contributions to further PTIO’s objectives.” 

 

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.

 

About PTIO

Launched in June 2018, PTIO is led by its members at the American Trucking Associations, Daimler, FedEx, Ford, Lyft, Toyota Motor North America, UPS, Waymo, and May Mobility — leading companies and associations that are working together with government, educators, and other stakeholders to examine the opportunities and challenges of AV deployment and identify policies and programs that ensure our entire workforce can benefit from the adoption of AV technology.

 

# # #

Contact:

Craig Daitch

Telemetry for May Mobility

248-880-4403

[email protected]

 

Kathryn Branson

Executive Director

Partnership for Transportation Innovation and Opportunity 

484-553-6857

[email protected]