May Mobility and Bedrock bring self-driving vehicles to Detroit
May Mobility, an Ann Arbor startup building self-driving vehicles, in partnership with Bedrock, a full-service real estate firm, announced what the companies claim is the first commercial deployment of independent autonomous vehicles on public streets in an urban core in America. The partnership will place self-driving shuttles in downtown Detroit and begin transporting passengers on June 27, 2018.
Under the partnership, May Mobility will provide a fleet of electric vehicles to Bedrock. These vehicles will transport Quicken Loans and its family of companies' employees to their offices, parking sites, events, and other downtown destinations. The transportation area begins with a 1-mile loop connecting the Bricktown Parking Garage to the One Campus Martius and First National Buildings in the heart of downtown Detroit.
The vehicles are deployed among other cars, cyclists, and pedestrians, making self-driving vehicles a normal part of everyday life. As a result, May Mobility says it will gather data from vehicles, riders, and business and community partners to help expand services to additional roads and highways in the future.
As part of the expansion, May Mobility opened its first office outside of Ann Arbor at 601 Franklin in Detroit. From this location, May Mobility says it will provide full-time operational support for the Bedrock Bricktown route, store and charge the shuttles, and coordinate future route expansion.
"As a Michigan-based company with offices in Detroit and Ann Arbor, we are proud that our shuttles are solving transportation problems faced by everyday workers," said Edwin Olson, CEO and Co-founder of May Mobility.
At launch, May Mobility will have attendants in vehicles to help orient first-time riders and to monitor the vehicles. The company will offer on-demand services and expand its suite of vehicles and services in 2019.