We’re thrilled to announce that after a successful one-year pilot, Arlington RAPID has been renewed through 2024.
Arlington RAPID is the first program in the U.S. to integrate on-demand, autonomous vehicles (AVs) into an existing transportation service. Created in partnership with the City of Arlington, Via, and University of Texas at Arlington (UT Arlington) using May Mobility’s fleet, the service provided more than 28,000 rides in its first year to residents, university students and visitors around Downtown and the UT Arlington campus.
Arlington RAPID reported a 99 percent on-time performance, and our vehicles operated fully autonomously 80 percent of the time. With a 98 percent rider-satisfaction rating, it’s clear that the community embraced the pilot program.
“May Mobility and Arlington share a commitment to creating great transit through shared, on-demand autonomous vehicles,” said Edwin Olson, CEO of May Mobility. “May is excited to continue serving the Arlington community, and the learnings from this successful deployment will not only help advance our AV technology, but also enhance our service offerings at future sites around the world.”
Our proprietary AV technology, our Multi-Policy Decision Making (MPDM) system, is designed and implemented with the goal of transforming cities by making transportation safer, easier, more equitable and accessible. First-year results show that more than 60 percent of riders use RAPID to access essential destinations like medical facilities, school or employment opportunities, demonstrating that the service is filling critical transportation gaps and expands equitable access to transit across the city – directly in line with our goals and mission.
While the first year of service was made possible through a grant from the Federal Transit Administration, the deployment’s renewal is thanks to additional grant support from the North Central Texas Council of Governments. The new grant came through its AV program, which seeks to support and expand AV planning, testing and deployment in the region. RAPID was one of four projects selected in the program’s second round. The grant will allow RAPID to operate for two more years, as well as add vehicles with higher seating capacity and enable us to move further towards our goal of driver-out operations in the city.
“The North Texas Council of Governments is strongly supportive of efforts like Arlington’s RAPID service, provided by May Mobility, to advance automated transportation technology and provide the public with more and improved mobility options,” said Thomas Bamonte, NCTCOG’s senior program manager of transportation technology and innovation. “NCTCOG is pleased to support two additional years of RAPID and assist Arlington and May Mobility in making North Texas a center for automated transportation innovation.”
Check out the official renewal announcement here.
Want to catch a ride? Learn more about the route here.