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University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships

Detroit becomes the first city in America to deploy independent self-driving vehicles in an urban core on public roads


DETROIT, June 26, 2018 — May Mobility, an Ann Arbor startup building self-driving vehicles, in partnership with Bedrock, a full-service real estate firm, today announced the first commercial deployment of independent autonomous vehicles on public streets in any urban core in America. The partnership will immediately embed self-driving shuttles into the daily fabric of downtown Detroit, and begin transporting passengers on June 27, 2018.

Under the partnership, May Mobility will provide a fleet of electric vehicles to Bedrock. These vehicles will transport Quicken Loans and its Family of Companies’ close to 18,000 employees between their offices, parking sites, events and other downtown destinations, beginning with a 1-mile loop connecting the Bricktown Parking Garage to the One Campus Martius and First National Buildings in the heart of downtown Detroit.

“Detroit is at the forefront of technology and innovation, which is why it makes perfect sense for the first fully-autonomous shuttle route to launch in our city,” said Jay Farner, CEO, Quicken Loans.

“As a company dedicated to advancing mobility for a more livable, walkable and accessible community, Michigan-grown May Mobility made the ideal partner to further this mission,” said Jim Ketai, CEO, Bedrock. “These autonomous vehicles will allow us to lead the nation in providing memorable and efficient transportation methods for our residential, office and retail tenants.”

May Mobility maps, tests, and adds environmental sensors to routes block-by-block, which delivers a unique approach to autonomous transportation. This helps solve parking, traffic and land management issues for municipalities, developers, and business customers across the U.S.

The vehicles are deployed among other cars, cyclists, pedestrians and more, making self-driving vehicles a normal part of everyday life. As a result, May Mobility gathers invaluable data from vehicles, riders, business and community partners, which is crucial in helping expand services to additional roads and highways in the future.

“Our partnership with Bedrock shows that our self-driving vehicles can help address today’s most difficult transportation problems,” said Edwin Olson, CEO and co-founder of May Mobility. “Our technology allows us to provide fully-managed transportation services that outperform traditional services on wait time, rider satisfaction, and other metrics. By improving the lives of Bedrock’s employees and tenants, we move closer to our vision that everyone uses May Mobility every day.”

As part of the expansion, May Mobility has opened its first office outside of Ann Arbor at 601 Franklin in Detroit. From this location, May Mobility will provide full-time operational support for the Bedrock Bricktown route, store and charge the shuttles, and coordinate future route expansion.

“As a Michigan-based company with offices in Detroit and Ann Arbor, we are proud that our shuttles are solving transportation problems faced by everyday workers,” said Olson. “Bedrock and May Mobility share a vision for a new era in Detroit, where transportation is safe, convenient, and accessible. Self-driving technology will transform cities, improving the lives of everyday people, driving commerce, and helping to create new green spaces by reducing the need for parking. Much of the necessary technology was developed here in Michigan, and at May Mobility, we’ve been able to turn it into a system that will start creating a positive impact today. It is fitting that we begin in our own backyard, the Motor City.”

May Mobility’s shuttle platform highlights three key focus areas:
Self-driven: Builds and ships safe, reliable, and enjoyable autonomous driving capabilities that riders love. This service is offered initially in fleets of May Mobility’s six-seater electric shuttle for short distance trips, which will grow into more offerings of other fleets and service models in response to customer needs.

Community-driven: Provides the “human touch” by creating a local presence through a hands on operations support team based in local offices. May Mobility starts by designing a specific route in response to a customer’s need, and continuing throughout the partnership for maintenance, upgrades, and more.

Data-driven: Offers detailed analytics and reporting to track vehicles, optimize fleet usage, and empower customers to make smarter decisions about transportation.

This approach – partnering with developers, urban planners and municipalities to understand their needs and design solutions – establishes May Mobility as the trusted autonomous vehicle partner, both in communities and across the industry. At launch, May Mobility will have attendants in vehicles to help orient first-time riders and to monitor the vehicles. The company will offer on-demand services and expand its suite of vehicles and services in 2019.

For more information about May Mobility’s products, technology, or career opportunities, visit

About May Mobility
May Mobility solves today’s transportation needs with self-driving vehicles. We bring communities closer together today, with fleets of self-driving shuttles that make short distance travel safe, personal, and effortless. From business districts to educational campuses to residential areas, May provides a fully-managed mobility service that helps people engage more fully in the places where they live and work, while helping make the streets safer and supporting healthier local economies. Its pilot in downtown Detroit was the first successful self-driving vehicle to replace an existing transportation solution on city streets. May’s founders bring unparalleled expertise in academia, innovation and the auto industry, counting University of Michigan’s APRIL lab, MIT, the DARPA Urban Challenge, Ford, GM, GM Ventures, and Toyota among recent experience. Their goal is to realize a world where self-driving mobility systems will reduce the need for individual car ownership, encourage better land use and foster more vibrant, livable communities. The company’s investors include BMW i Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, Detroit Venture Partners, Maven Ventures, SV Angel, Tandem Ventures, Trucks Ventures, and YCombinator.

About Bedrock
Detroit-based Bedrock is a full-service real estate firm specializing in acquiring, developing, leasing, financing, and managing commercial and residential buildings. Since its founding in 2011, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested and committed more than $5.6 billion to acquiring and developing more than 100 properties, including new construction of ground up developments in downtown Detroit and Cleveland totaling more than 18 million square feet. Bedrock’s real estate portfolio consists of more than 330 office and retail tenants in Detroit’s technology-centric downtown. Additionally, Bedrock is dedicated to creating jobs and investing in job training. Over the last year, the company has invested in both the Randolph Technical Center and the Breithaupt Career and Technical Center in Detroit to build a pipeline of talent for Detroit’s growing economy. For more information, visit or engage with us on Twitter @BedrockDetroit and Facebook.

About Quicken Loans
Detroit-based Quicken Loans Inc. is the nation’s largest home mortgage lender. The company closed more than $400 billion of mortgage volume across all 50 states from 2013 through 2017. Quicken Loans moved its headquarters to downtown Detroit in 2010. Today, Quicken Loans and its Family of Companies employ more than 17,000 full-time team members in Detroit’s urban core. The company generates loan production from web centers located in Detroit, Cleveland and Phoenix. Quicken Loans also operates a centralized loan processing facility in Detroit, as well as its San Diego-based One Reverse Mortgage unit. Quicken Loans ranked highest in the country for customer satisfaction for primary mortgage origination by J.D. Power for the past eight consecutive years, 2010 – 2017, and also ranked highest in the country for customer satisfaction among all mortgage servicers the past four consecutive years, 2014 – 2017.

Quicken Loans was once again named to FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list in 2018 and has been included in the magazine’s top 1/3rd of companies named to the list for the past 15 consecutive years. In addition, Essence Magazine named Quicken Loans “#1 Place to Work in the Country for African Americans.”