Toyota invests $ 50 million in the autonomous shuttle service May Mobility6. December 2019
Toyota invests $ 50 million in the autonomous shuttle service May Mobility
New York, December 6, 2019.
May Mobility, a Michigan-based startup that operates autonomous shuttle services in three U.S. cities, has raised $50 million in a Series B round led by Toyota Motor Corp.
The funds, available less than a year after May Mobility raised $22 million, will be used to expand all areas of the company, including the AV shuttle fleet and engineering and operations personnel.
May Mobility has 25 autonomous low-speed shuttles between Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan and Providence, Rhode Island – the three cities in which it operates. The startup wants to increase this number to up to 25 vehicles per city. This fleet size improves the economic picture for the start-up and will have a significant impact on traffic in this city.
This latest round not only brings May Mobility capital. The startup, which was launched in 2017, also won a customer. Toyota has selected May Mobility as one of its autonomous driving providers for future open platforms, according to the startup.
Toyota and May Mobility did not provide any details about the objectives of this partnership. However, it is very likely that the startup’s autonomous vehicle technology will be combined with the Toyota e-pallet – a platform that the automaker unveiled at CES, the annual technology show in Las Vegas, in 2018.
The e-pallet was presented as a concept vehicle, but in reality it is a platform that fits into Toyota’s vision of a mobility ecosystem that will move it from a company that only produces and sells cars to a company that takes over all aspects of the movement of people and things from point A to point B. The e-pallet is a platform that is designed to be a vehicle for the mobility ecosystem of the future.
The e-pallet is designed for flexibility. The platform, which will theoretically be equipped with autonomous vehicle technology, could be used as a shuttle, for parcel delivery to customers or even as a mobile shop.