May Mobility and Via have launched autonomous vehicle services in three cities

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May Mobility and Via have launched autonomous vehicle services in three cities in the last eight months to increase public transit.

Companies have launched on-demand self-driving car services in Arlington, Texas; Grand Rapids, Michigan; And Ann Arbor, Michigan. Companies say it shows how fast autonomous vehicle (AV) service can be extended to increase public transport where there are not enough buses, subways or other services.

May Mobility makes self-driving vehicles, and Via offers its TransitTech service that enables cars to be used for public transport. They launched an autonomous vehicle service called Rapid in Arlington in March 2021 and it has surpassed 20,000 rides to date.

The car picks up passengers from designated pickup points and drops them off at destinations such as downtown Arlington and the University of Texas at Arlington. And before that, the city replaced its fixed bus line in 2017 with an on-demand microtransmit, with human drivers serving the city of 400,000 inhabitants. It can also provide door-to-door service for people with limited mobility.

Above: May Mobility and self-driving cars in Via Ann Arbor, Michigan provide public transportation.

Image Credit: Via

The services of Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, which were launched in August and October 2021, respectively, also continue to increase the ridership every month.

“At Via, we believe that autonomous vehicles reach their full potential as part of a larger scale.
Transit networks, they should be on-demand, dynamically rooted and shared, “said Carian Chan, senior vice president of business at Via, in a statement. How to launch public AV services is possible in a variety of usage cases and geographic areas. “

May provide mobility and via-demand, dynamically-rooted, shared AV services. Each of the three city services has been customized to meet the needs of the city and the community it serves. Each service has provided efficient and equitable driverless transport services – demonstrating how AVs reach their full potential when deployed as part of mass transportation, the companies said.

“I have a strong vision for how to deploy shared autonomous vehicles to complement existing transport and bring value to communities,” Shana Downs, May Mobility’s director of sales and channel management, said in a statement. “Using Via’s technology has helped us take that vision to the next level and continue our track record of bringing tangible benefits to riders and communities today.”

Data collected from the city of Arlington Rapid Service to date show that when AVs are deployed and measured efficiently as part of mass transportation, they can serve as an accessible, convenient route for travel. More than 60% of riders use Rapid to get to essential places including work, school, medical places or shopping.

The overwhelming amount – about 90% – riders agreed or strongly agreed that they would ride the Rapid again in the future, with most people agreeing that it was easier to book their trip and board in an autonomous vehicle with the Via Rider app and passenger screen in the vehicle.

After the RAPID ride, 80% of riders agreed or strongly agreed that AVs could enhance convenience.

Above: May Mobility’s self-driving car.

Image Credit: May Mobility

The 20,000-ride milestone has arrived in Arlington a year after Via and May Mobility announced them.
Partnership in November 2020. The purpose of the collaboration is to further the reach of both companies.
Demand for autonomous mobility globally.

The partnership includes integrating Via’s transittech software into May Mobility’s existing autonomous vehicle platform to support fleet management, booking, routing, passenger and vehicle assignment and rider experience.

Via and May Mobility look forward to continuing to help cities and communities introduce autonomous vehicle networks as a way to expand access to efficient, equitable and sustainable public transport across the country.

Founded in 2012, Via pioneered the transittech category using new technologies to develop public mobility systems – optimizing the worldwide network of buses, shuttles, wheelchair accessible vehicles, school buses, autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles.

Via aims to build the most efficient, equitable and sustainable transportation network for all riders – with limited mobility, a smartphone-free and bank-free population. It has more than 500 partnerships worldwide.

May Mobility vehicles have provided more than 300,000 autonomous rides so far. The company has had challenges in the past, but recent results with Via are encouraging.


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