May Mobility's self-driving shuttles have provided more than 300,000 autonomous rides in nine cities in the US and Japan. And CEO Edwin Olson is just getting started. He has a recipe for transforming transportation – and quality of life – worldwide:
- A policy of listening to people to understand the unique transit challenges they face in their communities – inaccessible public transit, for example, or a long trudge from the bus stop to the dining district.
- A strategy to work with cities, state agencies, and private enterprises to customize autonomous vehicle (AV) services that fill mobility gaps.
- A powerhouse partnership with Toyota capable of providing vehicles, services, and resources on a global scale.
- A game-changing approach to AV software development, known as multi-policy decision-making.
The underlying technology is critical to ensure safety and build trust, of course, but Olson argues that success starts with a human touch and understanding each community’s unique needs.
“Autonomous cars are hard, and every city brings new challenges for us to solve,” he says. “There is nothing quite so motivating . . . as a real-world point of contact with riders and cities to determine where to focus and what to fix.”