Self-driving shuttle developer May Mobility receives financial backing from BMW and Toyota

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May Mobility, which claims to be the “first autonomous vehicle company to replace existing transportation systems with its fleets of self-driving micro-shuttles,” has announced that it raised $11.5 million in seed funding during a seed round in which BMW i Ventures and Toyota AI Ventures were the co-leaders for.

May Mobility, which plans to launch commercial operations this year, says that this funding will allow the company to launch new deployments across the country.

“Communities everywhere are facing transportation challenges, and we’re ready to solve them with our fully-managed, right-sized microtransit service,” says 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.”

Back in October 2017, May Mobility conducted a pilot with a Detroit-based company called Bedrock. During this pilot, May Mobility demonstrated the readiness of its technology for real-world operations.

“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,” comments Edwin Olson, CEO and co-founder.

May Mobility’s team has a plethora of experience when it comes to autonomous vehicles. Made up of veterans from the DARPA Urban Challenge, the University of Michigan, Ford, General Motors and Toyota, the team combines both “technical stars” with “business development and operations experts.”

These are just some of the reasons that companies such as BMW and Toyota have expressed confidence in May Mobility, a startup company that officially launched less than a year ago. 

“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,” says 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.”

Jim Adler, Managing Director of Toyota AI Ventures, adds, “we look to invest not just in the brightest ideas and teams in mobility, but in the best businesses. 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.”