May Mobility and Via launched three public autonomous vehicles services in just eight months in Arlington, Texas and Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, Mich. — demonstrating the partnership’s success in rapidly launching complex, flexible, and scalable autonomous vehicle deployments.
May Mobility and Via’s first autonomous vehicle service, RAPID, which launched in Arlington in March, has already surpassed 20,000 rides to-date with a variety of destinations across Downtown Arlington and the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) campus. The services in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, which launched in August and October 2021, respectively, both also continue to grow in ridership month-by-month.
While on-demand, dynamically-routed, shared AV services have been historically difficult to implement over any time period, Via and May have launched three services of this type in eight months. Each of the three services is customized to meet the needs of the city and community it serves. Despite the variety of localities, rider demographics, and transit needs across Arlington, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor, each service has successfully provided effective, efficient driverless transportation services available to all — demonstrating how AVs reach their full potential when they are deployed as part of mass transit.
Data collected from the City of Arlington’s RAPID service to-date illustrates that when AVs are deployed as part of mass transit and scaled efficiently, they can serve as an accessible, convenient way to travel:
- More than 60% of riders use RAPID to get to essential destinations including work, school, medical places, or shopping.
- An overwhelming amount — nearly 90% — of riders agreed or strongly agreed they would ride RAPID again in the future, with a vast majority agreeing that booking their trip and boarding the autonomous vehicle with Via’s rider app and in-vehicle passenger screen was easy.
- After riding RAPID, 80% of riders agreed or strongly agreed that AVs can increase the convenience of travel.
The 20,000 rides milestone in Arlington comes just over a year from when Via and May Mobility announced their partnership in November 2020. The collaboration aims to extend both companies’ reach into on-demand autonomous mobility on a global scale. The partnership involves integrating Via’s TransitTech software into May Mobility’s existing autonomous vehicles platform to support fleet management, booking, routing, passenger and vehicle assignment, and rider experience.