May Mobility, a developer of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, has announced the launch of the first on-demand public transport service using AVs in Arizona.
The AVs have been deployed in the retirement community of Sun City and are powered by Via, a transit technology firm.
The service will operate Monday to Friday from 7am to 5pm and will serve resident complexes, recreation centres, grocery stores, pharmacies and medical centres.
By setting up the AV service, May Mobility hopes to increase access to safe, reliable and equitable on-demand transportation across the community of adults aged 55 and older.
What’s more, the company hopes to use the deployment as a testbed for collecting data on how autonomous mobility tech can support ageing adults.
This launch marks May Mobility’s first deployment in the Western US; its previous deployments include Arlington, Texas and 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 ageing 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 both believe ageing populations are one of the demographics with the most to benefit from AVs, with self-driving technology promising increased freedom and mobility.
“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 organisations 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 includes operations in a mix of urban, suburban and rural areas.