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May Mobility Finalist Takes Second place in Society of Automotive Analysts’ (SAA) Mobility Innovation Awards

May Mobility is excited to share that our accessible autonomous vehicles (AVs) are a finalist in the Society of Automotive Analysts’ (SAA) 2022 Mobility Innovation Awards! Out of 19 submissions, we achieved first runner-up in the “Technologies Enabling a New Business Model” category for our accessible Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS (S-AM) vehicles, which feature ADA-Compliant wheelchair ramps as well as audio and visual cues for passengers of differing abilities.

Creating accessible and equitable transportation options is a key pillar of our work, and we aim to make transit safer and easier for everyone. The introduction of our newest accessible AVs is the next step in that journey. The wheelchair-accessible vehicles, with rear-entry wheelchair ramps from BraunAbility, can carry a passenger in a wheelchair as well as two ambulatory riders, or four ambulatory riders. They also have space for service animals if needed. We recently announced the first deployment of these vehicles in our most accessible service yet in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

Judged by industry experts Lindsay Brooke, the editor-in-chief of SAE International, and Abe Vadhavkar, retired director at the Center for Automotive Research, the SAA Mobility Innovation Awards encourage new ideas and perspectives by recognizing innovations across the globe.

Sarah Gryniewicz, strategy analyst at May Mobility, presented the accessible S-AM at the award ceremony. “As we develop the incredible technology of an autonomous vehicle, we are deeply committed to making sure that all members of society can use our vehicles and services,” said Gryniewicz. “We are so honored by the SAA acknowledging the importance of uniting great technology with great accessibility.”

We’re thrilled to have SAA consider us as a nominee and for having the opportunity to connect with peers helping to advance mobility. 

Read SAA’s press release about the 2022 Mobility Innovation Award recipients by downloading it here.

May Mobility topples milestones with newly announced Grand Rapids, Minn. deployment

We’re excited to announce our next deployment in Grand Rapids, Minn. to launch this fall!

The Grand Rapids deployment marks several firsts for our company and the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry. Grand Rapids will receive the first commercial launch of the Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS (S-AM) and will also host our largest on-demand area yet. May Mobility’s first rural AV route also puts accessibility and equity at the forefront with the inclusion of three first-ever ADA-compliant S-AM vehicles to better serve the Grand Rapids community. 

“This first-of-its-kind deployment is a pivotal next step for May Mobility, demonstrating our commitment to transportation accessibility and equity,” said Edwin Olson, CEO of May Mobility. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with the city and our partners to meet the community needs and highlight the enormous opportunity for AVs to solve gaps in existing infrastructure.”

 

The pilot, called goMARTI, will offer free, on-demand rides to Grand Rapids visitors, employees and residents. The area will encompass more than 70 pickup and dropoff points spanning nearly 17 square miles, including restaurants, stores, fitness centers, pharmacies, churches, schools, entertainment and more. The deployment will offer locals daytime and evening services. 

“This project was developed with the collective voices of the Grand Rapids community,” said Praveena Ramaswami, community engagement manager for May Mobility. “We worked closely with the residents, businesses, and area organizations to understand how best to meet their needs, to help improve mobility and create greater access to their thriving city.”

Key project partners include the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the City of Grand Rapids, Department of Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation, Itasca County, The PLUM Catalyst, Via, University of Minnesota, Arrowhead Transit and Mobility Mania among others.

During the deployment, we hope to: 

  • Advance and inform the operation of automated vehicle technology in rural, winter conditions
  • Engage and educate the local community by providing real-world AV experiences 
  • Provide safe, accessible mobility for residents, especially those with transportation challenges
  • Understand what economic development this innovative pilot brings while attracting future talent and technology to the Iron Range

For more information and updates about goMARTI, visit gomarti.com.