May Mobility and Via launch first rural transit program to use wheelchair accessible ADA-compliant autonomous vehicles

The Grand Rapids, Minn. service is accessible by design and will demonstrate how AVs reach their greatest impact when used for public transportation – even in rural, wintry settings

 

Sept. 28, 2022 (GRAND RAPIDS, MN) — Today, May Mobility, a leader in the development and deployment of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, and Via, the global leader in TransitTech, will launch the first public transit project using American Disability Act (ADA)-compliant AVs in rural America.

May Mobility’s ADA-compliant Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS drives the streets of Grand Rapids, Minn.

The companies’ goal for the Grand Rapids, Minnesota project is to demonstrate that AVs reach their greatest societal impact when used for public transportation. The deployment will allow anyone to book a free, on-demand, shared ride from an AV. The project will also advance the deployments of AVs in rural terrains and diverse and sometimes harsh weather conditions.

“We’re passionate about making transportation better for everyone, and providing innovative, accessible transportation solutions to rural communities is a key next step in that journey,” said Edwin Olson, CEO for May Mobility. “May Mobility and Via are proud to bring cutting-edge technology and services to Grand Rapids with the first commercial fleet of Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS vehicles.”

“Via is proud to partner with May Mobility for the new Grand Rapids site launch, which advances our shared belief that AVs are most impactful when they are accessible, shared, and complementary to a community’s public transit system,” said Israel Duanis, Head of Autonomous Vehicles at Via. “Via is committed to supporting rural connectivity for riders of all needs. We believe that Grand Rapids will serve as a pioneer for how autonomous, innovative mobility can transform the way small communities move.”

May Mobility’s fleet in Grand Rapids will mark the first commercial launch of the Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS platform, including the first ADA-compliant versions of the vehicle that the company announced earlier this year.

Powered by Via’s AI-based booking and routing algorithms, on-demand rides are available to anyone through the Via app (available on iOS and Android), which matches riders headed in the same direction into one vehicle to create efficient, flexible shared trips. Throughout the city, more than 70 pick-up and drop-off locations have been identified and established based on popular travel patterns and community input, which helped shape the service zone, hours of operation and other considerations. Riders without smartphones can also book by calling 211.

The May Mobility app powered by Via, the leader in TransitTech, which allows riders to book a free, on-demand ride as part of the goMARTI program in Grand Rapids, Minn.

While rides are open to all, they are designed to serve those without a private car or who have mobility challenges — with the aim of using technology to help everyone achieve an independent lifestyle supported by convenient travel, regardless of income or ability.

This project will expand mobility access for the Grand Rapids community by complementing the town’s existing fixed-route bus lines and will cover nearly 17 square miles, allowing residents and visitors to easily connect with the city’s restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, churches, fitness centers, and more. The service will also provide coverage on weekday nights and weekends when other options aren’t available.

The deployment signifies another step forward for May Mobility and Via’s history of introducing AVs as public transportation to communities across the country and follows the launch of three other AV services in Arlington, Tex., Ann Arbor, Mich., and Grand Rapids, Mich. in 2021.

Via and May Mobility look forward to continuing to help cities and communities integrate autonomous vehicles into their public transit systems to expand access to safe, efficient, equitable and sustainable mobility.

The 18-month project, called “goMARTI,” was created, built and deployed with the support of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the City of Grand Rapids, The PLUM Catalyst, 211 and Mobility Mania, among others.

May Mobility closes $111 million Series C funding, begins preliminary development on Toyota’s next generation mobility platform

  • May Mobility garners commercial traction with partners leading the adoption of AV technology in the business-to-government and business-to-business sectors, including a project with MONET Technologies Inc. and SoftBank Corp. for an international route in Tokyo
  • May Mobility will continue collaborating with Toyota, with more deployments coming in late 2022 with the Sienna Autono-MaaS vehicle platform and preliminary development on Toyota’s e-Palette mobility platform
  • Insurance conglomerate backs AV technology, stating potential reduction in accidents.

May Mobility, a leader in the development and deployment of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, today closed a $111 million Series C round of funding. Additionally, the company plans to continue to pursue its deployment programs using the Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS vehicle platform while beginning development on another vehicle design centered around mobility, Toyota’s e-Palette, signaling the next potential milestone as it seeks new ways to bring equitable mobility solutions to the masses.

A concept rendering of a Toyota e-Palette prototype, a next generation mobility platform on which May Mobility is starting preliminary development to integrate the company’s autonomous driving kit.

“With the close of this latest investment round, May Mobility will continue to accelerate growth in our technology, business development and platforms, all with a global reach,” said Edwin Olson, CEO of May Mobility. “Our additional investors, as well as our continued strategic collaboration with Toyota and others, will enable us to march toward driver-out commercial operations in 2023 and enable our expansion into new markets as we roll out more Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS vehicles now and look to next generation platforms, such as the e-Palette.”

Insurance Industry Supports AV Future

Joining Tokio Marine, State Farm Ventures® participated in the round, supporting May Mobility’s growth and becoming one of the first U.S.-based insurers to invest in AVs. With improving road safety as a key goal for May Mobility, the investment indicates the insurance industry’s growing support for AV operations to reduce road accidents.

“The insurance industry sees the future of mobility and is recognizing the importance of helping to design the way insurance will support autonomous vehicles in the future,” said Ryan Green, CFO of May Mobility. “Having partners like Tokio Marine and State Farm Ventures helps expedite that vision for the future of mobility.”

State Farm Ventures focuses on investing in start-ups developing technologies and products to fulfill customer needs in ways they may not expect from their insurance company. As the leading U.S. automobile insurer, they look to invest in technologies, services and capabilities that improve vehicle and pedestrian safety.

“May Mobility’s technology is a potential compelling advancement in the evolution of autonomous driving and may help to reduce accidents and improve road safety.” said Michael Remmes, Vice President, State Farm Ventures.  

Continuing collaboration with Toyota

In addition to the new round of funding, May Mobility is also continuing its collaboration with Toyota. Sienna Autono-MaaS vehicle platforms modified by May Mobility have already been launched for testing and demonstrations in Ann Arbor, with other public deployment locations anticipated in late 2022. The program also features an ADA-compliant up-fit through the company’s partnership with Braunability.

A Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS equipped with May Mobility’s autonomous driving kit will launch this fall as part of a new public on-demand AV deployment.

Furthermore, May Mobility has begun initial development work on incorporating the company’s ADK onto the Toyota e-Palette, a battery-electric vehicle platform that is positioned to further transform the future of mobility. With greater rider capacity and the expansion of more efficient transit services made possible from a platform like e-Palette, May Mobility will continue its mission to ultimately reduce traffic and the need for parking lots and garages, creating more livable green space.

“We are already seeing the benefits of using Toyota’s Sienna Autono-MaaS vehicle platform as it was designed from the ground up to interface with computers, and we look forward to future discussions on the use of Toyota’s e-Palette as an exciting opportunity to set new milestones as we transform mobility with an autonomous, electric vehicle platform. This platform, coupled with our technology, has the power and capability to accelerate the future of mobility,” said Olson. 

Investors Support Driver-Out Operations

Bringing the company’s total raised funding to date to $194 million, the round is expected to increase May Mobility’s engineering headcount, expand its global customer base, enhance rider experiences and further invest in technology advancements. With this round of funding, May Mobility has doubled down on its commitment to driver-out operations in 2023. SoftBank, State Farm Ventures, Next Century Ventures, SAIC, Wanxiang, Karma and 10x Group join the list of partners committed to the company’s mission of driving a greener, more accessible future through mobility. The round was led by SPARX Group Co., Ltd.’s Mirai Creation Fund II alongside Tokio Marine, Toyota Tsusho, Bridgestone Americas and returning investors Toyota Ventures, Millennium Technology Value Partners, Cyrus Capital Partners, LG Technology Ventures and Maven Ventures, among others.

Gaining Traction with Commercial Partners

With its Series C round, May Mobility also garnered commercial traction with partners leading the adoption of AV technology in the business-to-government and business-to-business sectors. In addition to its previously-announced program with Bridgestone, May Mobility is working on a project with MONET Technologies and SoftBank for an international route in Tokyo. 

May Mobility joins Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association (AVIA)

May Mobility, a leader in autonomous vehicle (AV) technology and ride-share operations, announced today that it is joining the Autonomous Vehicle Industry Association (AVIA). Established in 2016 by founding members Ford, Lyft, Uber, Volvo Cars and Waymo, AVIA was the first advocacy organization dedicated exclusively to AVs. 

May Mobility and AVIA share the conviction that AV technology holds the potential to make transit more safe, sustainable, accessible and equitable for everyone. AVIA was established to work with lawmakers, regulators and the public to realize the safety and societal benefits of AVs. The Association is committed to advocating for the broad spectrum of AV use cases. As part of May Mobility’s membership Daisy Wall, director of policy and advocacy at May Mobility, will also join the AVIA Board of Directors.

“We’ve seen on the ground benefits of autonomy to communities we serve,” said Wall. “We’re excited to work with AVIA as a thought partner and advocate for autonomy in transit. Peer knowledge sharing is incredibly important as we move our industry forward, and feedback from our diverse group of riders and use cases will serve as beneficial learnings for our industry.”

May Mobility operates in cities around the world, with the majority of its current deployments focused in the U.S. As a member of AVIA, the company expands its ability to contribute to the understanding of the AV industry.

“May Mobility is a distinguished leader in developing AV technology that applies to various vehicles, and we’re excited to have such a versatile company join AVIA’s ranks,” said Ariel Wolf, general counsel to AVIA. “Their expertise and partnerships across the U.S. will further enhance AVIA’s commitment to work with both policymakers and the public to bring AVs to roadways across America.”

May Mobility advances AV accessibility, leads industry with development of first ADA-compliant Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS

The autonomous vehicle (AV) technology company is partnering with BraunAbility, the world’s largest manufacturer of mobility solutions, to develop and deploy the first ADA-compliant AVs to the public by late 2022.

 

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – May Mobility, a leader in autonomous vehicle (AV) technology and ride-share operations, is putting accessibility at the forefront and partnering with BraunAbility, the world’s leading manufacturer of mobility transportation solutions, to modify the May Mobility Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS (S-AM) fleet to include ADA-compliant vehicles. 

This is part of May Mobility’s broader vision of improving accessibility and equity in transit through autonomous driving technology. The company is also integrating assistive technology within the vehicle cabin through speakers and a display to help people with audio and/or visual impairments see and hear when it is safe to enter and exit the vehicle.

A May Mobility autonomous vehicle with BraunAbility's ADA-compliant wheelchair ramp.

A May Mobility Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS outfitted with a BraunAbility ADA-compliant wheelchair ramp.

Ensuring that autonomous vehicles are developed in a way that advances transportation equity goals is a key pillar for May Mobility,” said Erin McCurry, product manager and accessibility lead at May Mobility. “In the U.S., 3.6 million people do not leave their homes because of travel-limiting disabilities. As we transition our fleet to the Sienna Autono-MaaS platform, we are working towards a future where everyone has access to safe, reliable transportation.”

The partnership with BraunAbility will produce an ADA-compliant, rear-entry conversion of May Mobility’s S-AM vehicles. The vehicles will be able to carry two ambulatory (non-wheelchair users) riders along with a rider using a wheelchair, or four ambulatory riders. 

“Our founder, Ralph Braun, began engineering the very first automotive mobility solutions over 50 years ago,” stated BraunAbility CEO Staci Kroon. “Just like the evolution of automotive mobility, autonomous travel for wheelchair users is a journey of evolving technology. BraunAbility and May Mobility begin that new evolution together, and our solutions will be accessible to every wheelchair user.”

In addition to providing accessibility features for riders using mobility devices, May Mobility will also enhance the Sienna’s interior with audio and visual cues to inform riders of key journey moments, such as arriving at a stop, doors opening and closing, and departure.

“Designing for people with disabilities makes the entire product easier to use for everyone. We’re excited to launch these assistive technology features in every single new vehicle,” said McCurry.

The first modified S-AM vehicles will be phased in at all existing May Mobility sites in 2022. The partnership between May Mobility and BraunAbility lays the groundwork for further development and deployment of ADA-compliant vehicles and technologies in the future.

S-AM is Toyota’s autonomous-mobility as a service (Autono-MaaS) vehicle based on the Sienna that is being utilized for May Mobility’s public road testing. It features Toyota’s highly adaptable Vehicle Control Interface (VCI), that enables seamless technology integration with May Mobility’s autonomous driving kit (ADK) for robust operation of key vehicle control systems, such as steering, brakes and acceleration.

Bridgestone Invests in Autonomous Driving Technology Provider May Mobility, Kicks Off Broader Partnership

Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone), a global leader in tires and sustainable mobility solutions, today announced a minority investment in May Mobility, marking the company’s first investment in public-serving autonomous vehicles (AVs). May Mobility is a leader in AV technology, leveraging its innovative Multi-Policy Decision Making (MPDM) system to realize a world where AVs make transportation safer, more accessible, equitable, and sustainable. The new partnership will include the future integration of Bridgestone’s digital and predictive tire-centric technologies into May Mobility autonomous vehicles, granting deeper AV intelligence for even safer and more efficient operation. Through the partnership, Bridgestone will also gain valuable insights into autonomous vehicle operations to improve its core tire products and mobility solutions.

 

The new relationship between Bridgestone and Ann Arbor, Michigan-based May Mobility expands the AV technology company’s ability to operate and service its vehicles in new markets through Bridgestone’s nationwide network of more than 2,200 tire and automotive service centers doing business under the Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus, Hibdon Tires Plus and Wheel Works retail brands. In addition, May Mobility will also be able to leverage the company’s mobile service provider, Firestone Direct, to support their expansion. This will further enhance May Mobility’s ability to scale AV operations for its growing fleet of Toyota passenger vehicles, including the Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS. May Mobility plans to continue expanding operations in the U.S. and Japan, building sustainable, accessible, affordable AV transit solutions.

 

“May Mobility is at the forefront of AV innovation and development, and we are excited to partner with the company through our broad service network of company-owned retail stores,” said Brian Goldstine, President of Mobility Solutions and Fleet Management, Bridgestone Americas. “Our future plans to integrate the Bridgestone suite of predictive maintenance insights will help ensure that May Mobility vehicles operate even more safely, efficiently and sustainably.”

 

May Mobility vehicles will also utilize insights derived from in-wheel sensors and proprietary Bridgestone predictive algorithms to monitor the health of tires, including tire pressure, temperature and tread wear, which will allow for proactive and predictive maintenance that helps improve fleet safety, efficiency and sustainability. Azuga, a cloud-based fleet mobility solution acquired by Bridgestone in 2021, will also be leveraged by May Mobility to improve business performance through the platform’s fleet management, camera intelligence and route planning features.

 

“The ability to operate and service vehicles using Bridgestone’s 2,200 nationwide stores gives May Mobility an unmatched ability to scale across the country,” said Edwin Olson, CEO of May Mobility. “This collaboration builds upon our shared mission of providing safe and sustainable mobility solutions on a global scale.” 

This investment is another example of Bridgestone’s continued evolution to provide smart-sensing tires and sustainable mobility solutions. The May Mobility partnership follows the company’s recently announced investments in mobile fuel and energy provider, Yoshi, and tire data supplier, Tyrata. Bridgestone and May Mobility plan to launch their vehicle service integration plans later this year.

May Mobility Grows Leadership Through Chief Commercial Officer, Board of Directors

Board of directors and executive team additions strengthen May Mobility’s position in the industry

 

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – May Mobility, a leader in autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, today announced the addition of Chief Commercial Officer Manik Dhar and the expansion of its board of directors. These additions build upon the organization’s strong foundation of innovative AV technology, a scalable go-to-market approach, and strong relationships with key strategic partners.

 

An image of Manik Dhar at May Mobility Headquarters in 2022

Manik Dhar, Chief Commercial Officer of May Mobility.

Dhar brings more than 25 years of experience leading companies across multiple industries and geographies to substantial revenue growth. He previously served as chief revenue officer at data-annotation firm CloudFactory, and held leadership roles at student-transportation disruptor Zūm, Google, and Oracle.

 

“Manik will strengthen our go-to-market strategy and ensure sustainable monetization,” said Edwin Olson, chief executive officer of May Mobility. “The scalability of our Multi-Policy Decision Making system is one of May Mobility’s core strengths. With Manik’s diverse experience at Zūm, Google, and Oracle, and proven track record developing those major companies, we’ll accelerate our growth while strengthening key partnerships along the way.”

 

Dhar’s responsibilities as the company’s first chief commercial officer will include identifying future revenue streams, expanding the company’s customer footprint, and amplifying its commercial story to an ever-growing audience.

 

“May Mobility is an innovative technology company transforming transit,” said Dhar. “I look forward to developing a commercial strategy that maximizes synergies across the company’s international team and delivers a truly amazing end-to-end customer experience.”

 

SPARX and Toyota Executives Join May Mobility Board of Directors

Seiji Miyasaka, president of SPARX Capital Investments, Inc. and Yosuke Tsuruta, vice president of dealer experience and mobility at Toyota Motor North America will join the technology company’s board of directors, with Masaru Kusutani of Tokio Marine Holdings, Inc., and Takamichi Kono of Toyota Tsusho also joining as board observers. 

 

“Both Seiji and Tosuke bring a wealth of experience to strengthen our foundations in finance, technology, and operating with relevance on a global scale,” said Olson.

 

With almost twenty years of experience as a leader in private equity investment, Seiji is a U.S. team leader at Mirai Creation Fund, a venture capital fund managed by SPARX Group that invests into next generation technologies including AI, robotics, energy solutions, electrification, and carbon neutrality. Prior to joining SPARX Group, Seiji served as chief operating officer and president of Japanese energy-focused private equity fund IDI Infrastructures Inc., after having gained experience working in corporate finance at the Industrial Bank of Japan.

 

“I’m very much looking forward to joining the May Mobility Board of Directors,” said Miyasaka. “They have been a revolutionary force and impressive innovator in the autonomous transportation industry. I’m excited to be a part of its continued evolution and expansion.” 

 

Tsuruta has spent more than 20 years with Toyota, primarily focused on Mobility as a Service (MaaS). With roles spanning across Japan, Thailand, and the U.S., he has led projects including the development of the e-Palette and collaborations with mobility partners including May Mobility, Uber, and Aurora. In January 2022, Tsuruta moved to his current role in the U.S., promoting hands-on activities in the Autono-MaaS and flying mobility businesses. 


“I’ve long shared May Mobility’s belief that technology has the potential to improve lives and create more equitable communities,” said Tsuruta. “It’s an honor to join the company’s board of directors, and to be part of a values-led organization that’s transforming transit globally constantly, both enabling and enhancing the way we live.”

 

To learn more about May Mobility’s leadership team, visit maymobility.com/meet-may/

 

About May Mobility
May Mobility is a leading autonomous vehicle technology company headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan and established in 2017. With the goal of transforming cities through safe, accessible, green, transportation solutions,  May Mobility engineers their proprietary system, Multi-Policy Decision Making (MPDM), from the ground up to offer a better, more scalable solution, delivering more than 300,000 autonomy-enabled rides to date. With key strategic partnerships including some of the world’s most innovative automotive and transportation companies, such as Toyota Motor Corporation, May Mobility provides transit solutions across the U.S. and Japan. For more information, visit maymobility.com

MAY MOBILITY ACCELERATES GROWTH WITH SERIES C FUNDING

Mirai Creation Fund II, managed by SPARX Group Co., Ltd., leads the charge in funding May Mobility’s development and implementation of autonomous mobility services

ANN ARBOR, Mich.May Mobility, a leader in the development and deployment of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, today announced the initial closing of its Series C round of funding with an investment of $83 million led by Mirai Creation Fund II – a SPARX Group Co., Ltd. managed fund that is renowned for supporting high-growth, high-tech companies and has made 76 investments to date. New investors include Tokio Marine and Toyota Tsusho, along with returning investors Toyota Ventures, Millennium Technology Value Partners, Cyrus Capital Partners, 1843 Capital, BMW i Ventures and Bay Lake Ventures. Final closing of the financing is expected to take place near the end of Q1 2022.

“With this initial Series C funding, our latest group of global strategic investment partners will enable us to rapidly deploy our technology on Toyota’s autonomous-ready platforms, including the Sienna Autono-MaaS,” said Edwin Olson, CEO of May Mobility. “We will continue to challenge the status quo of transit by reshaping the future of the AV industry.”

Charting Towards a Fully Autonomous Future

May Mobility, driven by its class-leading proprietary Multi-Policy Decision Making (MPDM) autonomous driving technology, has provided more than 300,000 revenue-generating rides and launched services in nine cities, including their first international deployment in Higashihiroshima, Japan. The initial investment in this round of funding brings the total amount raised by May Mobility to $166 million to date and is set to help the company increase its engineering headcount, expand its global customer pool, enhance rider experiences and further invest in technology advancements, including driver-out operations in 2023.

“Automated vehicles will play a significant role in addressing urgent social issues such as environmental problems, aging infrastructure, and labor shortages. May Mobility is engaged in research and deployments aimed at the implementation of automated driving technology that can be on the road today, not someday,” said Shuhei Abe, President of SPARX Group Co., Ltd. “With a strong partner in Toyota Motor Corporation, May Mobility has steadily grown its technology and business. Through the Mirai Creation Fund II, SPARX will support the growth of May Mobility to contribute to creating a brighter future together.”

In addition, this round of funding will enable May Mobility to continue its partnership with Toyota working on future platforms and future public deployments of the Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS equipped with May’s autonomous driving kit by 2023. 

“We believe May Mobility’s latest investment round, led by Mirai Creation Fund II, is significant for the realization of autonomous mobility as a service (Autono-MaaS*),” said Keiji Yamamoto, Operating Officer of Toyota and President of Connected Company. “Through our collaboration with May Mobility, including the Sienna Autono-MaaS vehicle, Toyota continues to accelerate the implementation of Autono-MaaS as a platform to achieve our common dream: Mobility for All.”

“Our team is excited by this renewed commitment of existing investors, in addition to our new investment partners, to help solve the many challenges in bringing to life a safer, greener, more accessible world through autonomous mobility to communities,” said Ryan Green, who joined May as CFO in June 2021. “May is now poised for international expansion through this investment funding.”

By partnering with municipalities, business districts, educational campuses and residential areas, May Mobility solves transportation challenges with autonomous vehicles, outperforming traditional approaches on a wide variety of metrics by providing first/last mile services that fill gaps in existing transportation infrastructure. May Mobility’s most recent two deployments included Ann Arbor, Michigan, in October and Fishers, Indiana, in collaboration with Toyota Mobility Foundation in December.

*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 300,000 autonomy-enabled 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]

Together in Motion Indiana Autonomous Shuttle Service Launches in Fishers on December 20

Toyota Mobility Foundation, Energy Systems Network, Indiana Economic Development Corporation, and the City of Fishers back May Mobility’s free, autonomous shuttle service as it begins the initiative’s second phase. 

FISHERS, Ind. – The Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF), Energy Systems Network (ESN), the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), and the City of Fishers have joined with May Mobility, a leader in autonomous vehicle (AV) technology and shuttle operations, to inaugurate a free, public autonomous shuttle service on December 20, 2021 to serve the area surrounding the Nickel Plate Cultural District in Fishers, Ind. The AV shuttle service is part of the Together in Motion Indiana initiative announced earlier this year by TMF and ESN that previously provided a similar autonomous shuttle service in downtown Indianapolis for six months. 

May Mobility will manage a fleet of autonomous, shared vehicles that will operate along a three-mile fixed-route loop with nine designated stops to service the live, work, and play districts of downtown Fishers. The hop-on, hop-off service connects the residential area at Pullman Pointe and South Pointe Village apartments to the commercial district along Commercial Drive and Fishers Corner Boulevard, Municipal Drive and 116th Street, including a stop along the new Nickel Plate Trail. Each route stop is identifiable by a sign with route information and a QR code with more information about May Mobility’s technology. 

“With the launch in Fishers, we’ll be adding a new public transportation service in a community that primarily relies on personal vehicle ownership,” said Edwin Olson, CEO of May Mobility. “This is an amazing opportunity to partner with Fishers to challenge the status quo of transit and engage a wider audience in the future of transportation.”

“With our commitment to innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship, it was a natural fit for Fishers to serve as the first suburban site for May Mobility’s autonomous vehicle fleet,” said Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness. “Our Nickel Plate Cultural District is the perfect test site for this technology as our partners identify the nuances of a suburban environment for autonomous technology.”

In support of a low carbon future, the free service will feature five hybrid Lexus RX 450h vehicles and one wheelchair-accessible Polaris GEM fully electric vehicle and is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., with shuttles arriving every 10- to 15-minutes on a rotating loop. Riders can see live updates of the shuttle’s locations on the Together in Motion Indiana website.

“The Nickel Plate Cultural District in Fishers represents an ideal location to deploy an autonomous shuttle service through May Mobility,” said Ryan Klem, director of programs for the Toyota Mobility Foundation. “We are excited to learn how the community utilizes the service as this experience will go far in providing valuable insights that will inform the future of mobility in cities all across the US and further propel Toyota’s mission of Mobility for All.” 

Aiming to foster innovation through industry partnerships and propel research and development in advanced mobility technologies in Indiana, Together in Motion Indiana supports the deployments of various mobility solutions that are developed with local community input. With this human-centered approach, the initiative aims 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. 

“Indiana continues to be a place for advancing autonomous transportation solutions and partnering with the City of Fishers as our next city to deploy the May Mobility autonomous shuttle service is a perfect fit,” said Paul Mitchell, president and CEO, Energy Systems Network. “Public-private partnerships like this one only strengthen the goal of providing mobility options for all residents.”

May Mobility established its regional office in Fishers, Ind. in early 2021. Fishers will be its ninth shuttle deployment since the company began operations. May Mobility recently completed shuttle operations in Indianapolis, Ind., providing Hoosiers with more than 3,400 rides to school and work from June to November 2021. May Mobility conducts shuttle services in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Arlington, Texas; Hiroshima, Japan; and Ann Arbor, Mich. as well. 

“Indiana is excited to continue the deep partnership with May Mobility and the Toyota Mobility Foundation to bring the future of mobility to another community in Indiana,” said David Roberts, EVP of entrepreneurship and innovation, Indiana Economic Development Corporation. “This service is an important component to the vibrant ecosystem of innovation, when combined with the autonomous on-highway work being supported by INDOT and the milestone event of the Indy Autonomous Challenge.”

 

About May Mobility

May Mobility is a leader in autonomous vehicle technology development and deployment. With more than 295,000 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 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 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 City of Fishers

The City of Fishers is a suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana, located in Hamilton County and was named #1 Place to Live in the US by Money Magazine in 2017. Under the leadership of Mayor Scott Fadness, Fishers is known as a smart, vibrant, and entrepreneurial city through its neighborhood development, dedication to supporting high-growth companies, and innovative city processes. With a population of 91,832 (2017), Fishers is one of the fastest growing communities in Indiana and has received national accolades for entrepreneurship, livability, and safety. 

About Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC)

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) leads the state of Indiana’s economic development efforts, helping businesses launch, grow and locate in the state. The IEDC manages many initiatives, including performance-based tax credits, workforce training grants, innovation and entrepreneurship resources, public infrastructure assistance, and talent attraction and retention efforts.

May Mobility: Craig Daitch, Telemetry Public Relations, (248) 880-4403 [email protected]
Energy Systems Network: Raquel Bahamonde, (317) 319-6875, [email protected] 

Toyota Mobility Foundation: Julie Ann Burandt, [email protected] 

City of Fishers: Stephanie Perry, City of Fishers, 317-220-5470, [email protected]

Indiana Economic Development Corporation: Melissa Thomas, (317) 750-4792, [email protected] 

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]nnarborusa.org

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 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.