May Mobility, an Ann Arbor-based leader in the development and deployment of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, today announced the launch of its third-generation autonomous driving system.
The move is another step on the path to driverless commercial operations that will improve safety, efficiency, and rider satisfaction. Improvements include increased speed, tele-assist capabilities, and improved detection accuracy.
The company’s autonomy stack includes its third-generation vision stack, next-generation pedestrian modeling, and other improvements that allow the vehicle to navigate more smoothly through a variety of interactions and situations.
“The fundamental thesis behind May Mobility is to make public transit better than taking a personal car. By improving the quality and scope of our autonomy system and delivering a more efficient service, we can gradually reduce the need for personal car ownership,” says Edwin Olson, CEO of May Mobility. “These strides will further enable MPDM to scale on our path to commercial driverless operations.”
May Mobility’s autonomy stack advancements include:
- Next-Gen Pedestrian Modeling: Improved pedestrian modeling enables the system to make more robust predictions about pedestrian behavior in complex environments. May Mobility’s vehicles can operate more efficiently in downtown environments where dozens of pedestrians move and interact in many different ways, such as downtown Ann Arbor. Specifics include the ability to navigate safely through intersections with high pedestrian traffic and respond smoothly to pedestrians who are jaywalking or otherwise violating the rules of the road.
- Enhanced Policies for Smoother Rides: The company has added more lateral — or within-lane — movement policies to its Multi-Policy Decision-Making (MPDM) technology. These additions allow the vehicle to navigate smoothly through crowded streets, moving slightly to the right or left within the lane to avoid minor impediments.
- Tele-Assist: May Mobility has rolled out enhanced tele-assist capabilities that help the vehicle through pop-up situations such as construction. May Mobility’s approach to tele-assist combines in-the-moment human insight with the company’s MPDM. The vehicle remains autonomous throughout the assistance while the human operator serves to monitor the environment to ensure that the vehicle remains within its designed operating parameters and approves actions that the vehicle proposes to take. Additionally, the May Mobility tele-assist operator can provide hints to the autonomy system that are used to generate alternative routes through a complex situation.
- On-Vehicle Traffic Light Detection: Version two of the company’s on-vehicle traffic light (OVTL) detection improves safety with increased precision in challenging lighting conditions such as early morning and late evening. Enhanced vision also detects nonworking traffic lights so the vehicle knows to treat them as stops.
“A successful AV service needs to be useful, safe, and verified. We rigorously test our technology to ensure that it can handle the wide variety of factors and stimuli presented, whether on a busy street downtown or on a quiet rural road,” says Jacob Crossman, vice president of autonomy for May Mobility. “These updates prepare May to launch driverless commercial operations by the end of the year.”
May Mobility offers on-demand service in urban, suburban, and rural settings. In line with the company’s goal of providing sustainable transit solutions, the point-to-point transit groups riders heading in the same direction. This reduces travel and wait times, and it provides customers with a more convenient, personalized service and transit operators with greater flexibility and efficiency.
To learn more about May Mobility and its AV technology, visit maymobility.com.