May Mobility that partners with Magna and has select funders such as BMW iVentures or Toyota AI onboard is moving its autonomous electric vehicle concept forward. To be exact, the company is developing a wheelchair-accessible prototype of its self-driving electric shuttle.
The autonomous transportation startup just concluded an initial round of feedback gathering from the community of people in Columbus, Ohio, who would be using the shuttle.
May Mobility’s latest design includes ramps for entry and exit, as well as for securing the passenger’s wheelchair during the trip. In the first round of feedback, users called for improvements such as making the ramp longer to facilitate more gradual onboarding and disembarking. Also, the pick-up and drop-off points of the autonomous electric vehicle need refinement.
Still, expect to see May Mobility shuttles in operation across its pilots in Columbus, Providence and Grand Rapids soon, according to the company.
Overall, taking autonomous mobility to people who can use it seems like a great idea. On the latest and most accessible concept, COO Alisyn Malek said at a TechCrunch that part of the transportation turnaround is “that is we really have to think about ‘everybody’,” when thinking about inclusive transport. More so, May Mobility can build on powerful partners and an existing concept. The start-up has delivered the original autonomous electric shuttle design while Magna agreed to take over the assembly. The initial manufacturing run includes hundreds of vehicles as reported.
The company had also managed to secure 11.5 million dollars in funding from BMW iVentures, Toyota AI and other investors, earlier this year.
May Mobility plans to operate the autonomous electric shuttles as part of public community services in the USA. The company is based in Detroit.