ICAV Cluster

May Mobility Launches Accessibili-D Pilot in Detroit

May Mobility has introduced the Detroit Automated Driving Systems (ADS) pilot in partnership with the City of Detroit’s Office of Mobility Innovation (OMI) and the Michigan Mobility Collaborative (MMC).

The initiative, called Accessibili-D, is designed to improve transportation for Detroit residents who are disabled or aged 62 and older. The pilot began on Thursday, June 20, and will run until 2026, offering services to a select group of residents.

Three autonomous vehicles (AVs) are part of the pilot, including two that are wheelchair-accessible. These vehicles will help participants reach healthcare facilities, shopping centers, workplaces, and social or recreational destinations.

The complimentary service covers 68 stops within an 11-square-mile area of downtown Detroit. It operates Monday and Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Residents interested in participating must fill out an expression of interest form and will be contacted for enrollment. Once enrolled, they can book rides using the Accessibili-D app, powered by Via, or by calling (734) 209-3408.

Edwin Olson, CEO and co-founder of May Mobility, stated, “Many Detroiters have trouble getting around due to the costs of owning a car or mobility challenges arising from age or disabilities. We’re excited to show how autonomous technology can help in Detroit, where we will be launching our largest service area to date.”

In July 2023, the Detroit City Council approved a $2.4 million contract with May Mobility for the Accessibili-D service. May Mobility and MMC have conducted outreach programs to inform potential riders about the AVs and identify key locations in downtown Detroit that would benefit the community. Based on feedback, there are plans to expand the service zone with additional stops and vehicles in the near future.

Extensive testing was carried out by May Mobility, in collaboration with the University of Michigan’s Mcity and the American Center for Mobility (ACM), to prepare for the launch. The testing included the Mcity Safety Assessment Program and a testing process developed by ACM, which simulated real urban scenarios.

May Mobility’s AVs utilize multi-policy decision-making (MPDM) technology to navigate city streets. Each vehicle is equipped with lidar, radar, and cameras that provide a 360-degree view. The MPDM technology allows the AV to simulate thousands of potential scenarios per second, ensuring safe and efficient travel.

Tim Slusser, chief of the Office of Mobility Innovation at the City of Detroit, said, “We’re thrilled to launch the Accessibili-D autonomous shuttle service, a vital step toward enhancing mobility for our older residents and those with disabilities. This free, innovative service will provide safe and efficient transportation, greatly improving access to essential services for residents who have faced difficulty navigating their needs in the city.”

The Detroit ADS pilot marks May Mobility’s 14th deployment, with other operations in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Grand Rapids, Minnesota; Miami, Florida; Arlington, Texas; and Sun City, Arizona.

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