May Mobility, a pioneer in the development and deployment of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, has announced the launch of the first on-demand public transit service using AVs in Arizona with its launch in the retirement community of Sun City. The service will be powered by Via, the global provider of TransitTech.
The goal of the deployment is to use AVs to expand access to safe, reliable and equitable on-demand transportation to Sun City, a community designed for adults 55 and older. The company also aims to understand how its technology is adopted and addresses mobility challenges faced by aging adults.
This launch marks May Mobility’s first deployment in the Western U.S. and underscores Arizona’s reputation as a testing ground and pioneer for AV technologies. May Mobility has a history seeking out diverse deployment environments to test and improve its proprietary Multi-Policy Decision Making (MPDM) technology. Previous deployments span from the Northeast to the Midwest to the South, in climates ranging from the humid, subtropical climate in Arlington, Texas, to the frigid winters in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
“We’re fundamentally changing public transit, making it easier and more desirable than having a personal car,” said Edwin Olson, CEO for May Mobility. “People are living longer, and we believe that aging populations stand to gain greater access to mobility with autonomous vehicle technology. We’re committed to providing safe, reliable transportation for people who don’t want to or can’t drive themselves.”
May Mobility and Via believe aging populations stand to gain increased freedom and mobility from AVs, and are dedicated to engaging, serving and educating these communities to drive adoption of innovative technologies.
“Via is proud to partner with May Mobility to introduce dynamically routed, shared AVs to Arizona for the first time,” said Meghan Grela, autonomous lead at Via. “Our organizations are united by the vision that advanced technology is key to expanding access to efficient mobility for riders of all ages and needs, and we believe Sun City is a model for innovative, inclusive public transportation for other communities around the world.”
May Mobility and Via’s expertise operating in a mix of urban, suburban and rural areas prepared them to optimize service for Sun City. The service will operate Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. through resident complexes, recreation centers, grocery stores, pharmacies and medical centers. Looking ahead, May Mobility believes the deployment will provide insights on how technology is adopted and can address mobility challenges faced by aging adults.