May Mobility, the Michigan-based autonomous driving technology company, has unveiled a significant software update that positions it closer to achieving fully driverless operations by the close of 2023. This milestone comes as part of May Mobility's ongoing efforts to revolutionize transportation options in areas with limited public transit access.
The software upgrade promises substantial performance enhancements for May Mobility's autonomous vehicles (AVs), with a specific focus on improving passenger comfort. The company operates a fleet of Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS vehicles equipped with radar, lidar, cameras, and their proprietary Multi-Policy Decision Making (MPDM) system across diverse locations in the United States.
Key improvements introduced by this update include a smoother autonomous driving experience, particularly in congested environments. The update also optimizes route planning by increasing the use of arterial roads and enabling faster routing, including improved unprotected turns. To ensure safety, robust teleoperation assistance from human monitors will be available in challenging or unexpected situations, and the AVs will exhibit enhanced tracking capabilities for moving objects at longer distances.
May Mobility's CEO and co-founder, Edwin Olson, expressed enthusiasm about the company's technological progress, stating, “We continue to make huge strides in the advancement of our technology, and this release is the next step on our path toward rider-only service. These advancements further our commitment to providing a commercially viable service that is best situated to serve the communities where we operate.”
May Mobility has recently announced several deployments, seeking new locations and diverse use cases for its Level 4 AVs. In April, the company revealed plans to launch an innovative on-demand public transit service for individuals over 55 in Sun City, Arizona. In August, it entered into an agreement with the Detroit City Council to assist residents aged over 65 or with disabilities with transportation through the Detroit Automated Driving Systems Shuttle program. Furthermore, the company received regulatory approval in September to operate in Martinez, California, where its AVs will transport locals to medical appointments.
However, it's worth noting that in each of these deployments, human supervisors have been onboard the autonomous shuttles. May Mobility's latest software update is expected to keep the company on track to launch its first driverless service by the end of this year, marking a significant milestone in the evolution of autonomous transportation.