May Mobility, an Ann Arbor, Mich. startup building self-driving shuttles, has partnered with Magna, a mobility technology company and one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, to retrofit and scale up May Mobility’s unique fleet of self-driving shuttles set to enter the U.S. market.
This partnership is an industry-first, with Magna retrofitting low-speed self-driving microtransit electric vehicles from the chassis up. The initial fleet of vehicles will debut on June 26, 2018, with May Mobility’s first commercial deployment, which will take place in Detroit.
Magna will work on the vehicles in its Troy, Mich.-based custom-build center, with May Mobility engineers collaborating on the development from its Ann Arbor headquarters. Starting with existing stock vehicles, the new partnership will create a number of street-ready self-driving electric shuttles designed by May Mobility and assembled by Magna that can scale in volume to hundreds, and eventually thousands of shuttles as market demands increase.
Inside the Magna facility, its team of experts is doing a full rebuild for May Mobility’s self-driving shuttle, including:
- Body modifications such as custom doors and a panoramic moonroof
- Drive-by-Wire Upfitting to convert the vehicles into an autonomous-ready state
- Sensor integration, including mounting, cabling, and streamlined cowlings
May Mobility will continue to further retrofit the vehicles with its proprietary technology stack, bringing safer and more reliable self-driving vehicles to complex urban and residential environments. The company intends to offer on-demand services by 2019 and expand its suite of vehicles and services based on customer demand.