How May Mobility Uses Applied’s Simulation Software to Make Public Transportation More Safe, Equitable, and Accessible

May Mobility uses Applied Intuition’s large-scale simulation solutions to accelerate its software development cycle and improve its rider experience while saving time and resources.
Feb 28, 2023

May Mobility is improving transportation through autonomous vehicle (AV) technology. The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company operates autonomous microtransit services across the U.S. and Japan to complement public transportation and make transit more safe, equitable, and accessible. May uses Applied Intuition’s large-scale simulation solutions to accelerate its software development cycle and improve its rider experience while saving time and resources.

Continue reading to learn about May’s mission and our partnership. See our in-depth case study to dive deeper into May’s technical challenges and success story.

May Mobility’s Mission

May’s goal is to provide alternative transportation solutions that outperform personal car ownership. “Our customers don’t want robotaxis. They want transportation systems that are integrated with their public transit systems,” said Edwin Olson, CEO of May Mobility. “We’ll know that May is successful when we can look at cities and see that they’re built for people and not cars.”

To accomplish this vision, May partners with public transit agencies, departments of transportation, and other government agencies to identify gaps in their public transit systems and fill those gaps with May’s autonomous microtransit services. The company has had deployments across ten cities in the U.S. and Japan, and has delivered over 320,000 autonomous rides to date.

“May’s mission has fascinated us from the very beginning,” said Qasar Younis, Co-Founder and CEO of Applied Intuition. “Public transit is lacking in so many cities in the U.S. and beyond. May is trying to solve this challenge by helping cities adopt safe autonomous vehicle technology.”

How May Uses Large-Scale Simulation

May uses Applied Intuition’s solution for large-scale testing to test and deploy safe AV software at a faster rate. The company uses Applied’s simulator, Simian, and the continuous integration (CI) platform, Orbis, to run virtual tests in the cloud whenever a new code change is deployed. May has saved countless engineering hours by conducting a portion of its testing in simulation instead of slower, costlier, and sometimes dangerous tests in the real world.

May has saved countless engineering hours by conducting a portion of its testing in simulation instead of slower, costlier, and sometimes dangerous tests in the real world.

Applied’s re-simulation platform Logstream allows May to recreate real-world situations where the safety driver decided to take control of the vehicle. Logstream lets May replay these situations in a virtual environment and evaluate whether the vehicle would have handled the situation safely without the driver’s intervention.

Applied’s re-simulation platform Logstream allows May to recreate real-world situations where the safety driver decided to take control of the vehicle.

Applied’s solution has allowed May to ship faster software updates, offer more comfortable rides to its customers, and expand into new operational design domains (ODDs). 

Looking Ahead

Beyond strengthening its partnership with Applied and bringing safe AV technology to market faster, May is looking to deepen its relationships with cities and transit agencies to ensure that AVs reach their full potential. 

“Right now, AVs are cutting edge. Eventually, they’re going to be transportation,” said Sarah Pressprich Gryniewicz, Strategy Analyst at May Mobility. “AVs are on this journey from really cool high tech to something that changes the world but is maybe not as glamorous. May is on that journey. It’s so important to work with cities and transit agencies so that we go on that road together and make sure that AVs reach their full promise and potential.”

Read Our Case Study

Read more about May’s engineering challenges and success story in our in-depth case study