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.