ANN ARBOR — May Mobility, an autonomous vehicle company seeking to replace existing transportation systems with self-driving micro-shuttles, announced that BMW i Ventures and Toyota AI Ventures have joined its investor-base, co-leading an $11.5 million round of seed funding. The company said the funding will allow it to launch new deployments across the country.
Other investors include Maven Ventures of Palo Alto, Calif., SV Angel and Trucks Ventures of San Francisco, Tandem Ventures of Chicago, and YCombinator of Mountain View, Calif.
“We have demonstrated that our technology is highly capable, that riders love our vehicles, and that customers recognize the value of what we can provide,” said Edwin Olson, CEO and co-founder. “Developers and cities know self-driving transit is the future, and our fast-growing team of top computer scientists and roboticists have developed solutions to some of the most difficult transportation problems.”
May Mobility launches commercial operations this year, just over a year after the company’s launch. An October 2017 pilot with Detroit-based Bedrock was a key milestone in demonstrating the readiness of their technology for real-world operations.
“Vehicles and programs of all sorts are being announced or tested and trialed, but May Mobility is actually solving today’s transportation issues with self-driving vehicles on real city streets today,” said Uwe Higgen, managing partner at BMW i Ventures. “We invested in the team because they’re reducing the complexity of the problem to actually deliver autonomous mobility now, instead of years from now, and the feedback loop will be invaluable to the future of the industry.”
May Mobility’s team has deep experience in autonomous vehicles, with veterans from the DARPA Urban Challenge, the University of Michigan, Ford, General Motors and Toyota. The team combines both technical staff with business development and operations experts.
“We look to invest not just in the brightest ideas and teams in mobility, but in the best businesses,” said Jim Adler, managing director of Toyota AI Ventures. “We love that May Mobility is actively applying great technology to improve the quality of life in communities throughout the country. But it’s just as important that they’re signing paying customers that prove that the unit economics work.”
May Mobility has been developing autonomous technologies for more than a decade, with a full-service business model aimed at providing transportation services on a community scale. The result makes it easy for buyers — from business districts and educational campuses to municipalities or residential areas — to solve their transportation problems with autonomous vehicles that outperform traditional approaches on a wide variety of metrics. May Mobility brings communities closer together with fleets of self-driving vehicles that make short distance travel safe, personal, and effortless.
“Communities everywhere are facing transportation challenges, and we’re ready to solve them with our fully-managed, right-sized microtransit service,” said Alisyn Malek, COO and co-founder of May Mobility. “Our new investors will allow us to deploy to more communities even more quickly, and to grow our engineering and operations capability to deliver the best customer experience. It’s a great time to join the team; the demand is huge and the potential impact immeasurable.”
May Mobility will have several additional pilots in the coming months and its vehicle will be on display at SXSW’s Michigan House in March, Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s Traffic Safety Conference in April, and the Urban Land Institute in May.
For more information about May Mobility’s products, technology, or career opportunities, visit http://maymobility.com/.