How autonomous vehicles are making transportation more inclusive
May 24, 2023
May Mobility is expanding its diverse service environments, ranging from the Northeast to the Midwest and the South, with its first deployment in the West.
Ann Arbor, Mich. (Apr. 25, 2023)—May Mobility, a leader in the development and deployment of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, today announced the launch of the first on-demand public transit service using AVs in Arizona with its launch in the retirement community of Sun City. The service will be powered by Via, the global leader in TransitTech.
The goal of the deployment is to use AVs to expand access to safe, reliable and equitable on-demand transportation to Sun City, a community designed for adults 55 and older. The company also aims to understand how its technology is adopted and addresses mobility challenges faced by aging adults.
This launch marks May Mobility’s first deployment in the Western U.S. and underscores Arizona’s reputation as a testing ground and pioneer for AV technologies. May Mobility has a history seeking out diverse deployment environments to test and improve its proprietary Multi-Policy Decision Making (MPDM) technology. Previous deployments span from the Northeast to the Midwest to the South, in climates ranging from the humid, subtropical climate in Arlington, Texas to the frigid winters in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
“We’re fundamentally changing public transit, making it easier and more desirable than having a personal car,” said Edwin Olson, CEO for May Mobility. “People are living longer, and we believe that aging populations stand to gain greater access to mobility with autonomous vehicle technology. We’re committed to providing safe, reliable transportation for people who don’t want to or can’t drive themselves.”
May Mobility and Via believe aging populations stand to gain increased freedom and mobility from AVs, and are dedicated to engaging, serving and educating these communities to drive adoption of innovative technologies.
“Via is proud to partner with May Mobility to introduce dynamically-routed, shared AVs to Arizona for the first time,” said Meghan Grela, Autonomous Lead at Via. “Our organizations are united by the vision that advanced technology is key to expanding access to efficient mobility for riders of all ages and needs, and we believe Sun City is a model for innovative, inclusive public transportation for other communities around the world.”
May Mobility and Via’s expertise operating in a mix of urban, suburban and rural areas prepared them to optimize service for Sun City. The service will operate Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through resident complexes, recreation centers, grocery stores, pharmacies and medical centers. Looking ahead, May Mobility believes the deployment will provide insights on how technology is adopted and can address mobility challenges faced by aging adults
Brittany Lockard, External Communications Manager at May Mobility
Sara-Jessica Dilks, PR Associate Principal at Via
May Mobility, established in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2017, is building the world’s best autonomy system. Their proprietary Multi-Policy Decision Making (MPDM) system is at the core of their mission to help make cities safer, greener, and more accessible. MPDM’s proven track record has delivered more than 300,000 autonomy-enabled rides to date in several public transit applications across the U.S. and Japan. With key strategic partnerships including some of the world’s most innovative automotive and transportation companies, such as Toyota Motor Corporation, May Mobility aims to achieve the highest standard in rider safety, sustainability, and transportation equity. For more information, visit www.maymobility.com.
Founded in 2012, Via pioneered the TransitTech category by using new technologies to develop public mobility systems — optimizing networks of buses, shuttles, wheelchair accessible vehicles, school buses, autonomous vehicles, and electric 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 costs of public transit while providing transportation options that rival the convenience of a personal car while reducing the 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, providing technology in 600 communities and more than 35 countries and counting.