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University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships
University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships

May Mobility raises $11.5M in seed funding to accelerate deployment of self-driving shuttle fleets


May Mobility, the first autonomous vehicle company to replace existing transportation systems with its fleets of self-driving micro-shuttles, today announced that BMW i Ventures and Toyota AI Ventures have joined its investor-base, co-leading its seed round. This funding will allow May Mobility to launch new deployments across the country. Other investors include Maven Ventures, SV Angel, Tandem Ventures, Trucks Ventures, and YCombinator.

“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,” said Edwin Olson, CEO and co-founder. “Developers and cities know self-driving transit is the future, and our fast-growing team of top computer scientists and roboticists have developed solutions to some of the most difficult transportation problems.”

May Mobility launches commercial operations this year, just over a year after the company’s launch. An October 2017 pilot with Detroit-based Bedrock was a key milestone in demonstrating the readiness of their technology for real-world operations.

“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,” said 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.”

May Mobility’s team has deep experience in autonomous vehicles, with 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.

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

May Mobility combines their own autonomous vehicle stack, leveraging over a decade of technology development, with a full-service business model aimed at providing transportation services on a community scale. The result makes it easy for buyers — from business districts and educational campuses to municipalities or residential areas — to solve their transportation problems with autonomous vehicles that outperform traditional approaches on a wide variety of metrics. May Mobility brings communities closer together with fleets of self-driving vehicles that make short distance travel safe, personal, and effortless.

“Communities everywhere are facing transportation challenges, and we’re ready to solve them with our fully-managed, right-sized microtransit service,” said 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. It’s a great time to join the team; the demand is huge and the potential impact immeasurable.”

May Mobility will have several additional pilots in the coming months and its vehicle will be on display at SXSW’s Michigan House in March, Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s Traffic Safety Conference in April, and Urban Land Institute in May.

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

About May Mobility

May Mobility brings communities closer together, with fleets of self-driving vehicles that make short distance travel safe, personal, and effortless. From business districts to educational campuses to residential areas, May provides a fully-managed, right-sized microtransit 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 cars will reduce the need for individual car ownership, encourage better land use and foster more vibrant, livable communities. The company is backed by BMW i Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures, Maven Ventures, SV Angel, Tandem Ventures, Trucks Ventures, and YCombinator.