2022-01-26 Toyota Tsusho Invests in May Mobility, a leader in autonomous vehicle technology and shuttle operations


- Contributing to the Creation of a Safe and Comfortable Mobility Society through Autonomous Vehicle Technology -

Toyota Tsusho Corporation ("Toyota Tsusho") announced today that it has executed an investment in Series C Funding Round of May Mobility, Inc. ("May Mobility"), an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based startup that is developing autonomous vehicle technology and operating autonomous shuttle services*1 in North America and Japan. This funding round was led by Mirai Creation Fund II (two), managed by SPARX Group Co., Ltd.

1. Background

In recent years, innovations in mobility including CASE*2 and MaaS*3 have brought about paradigm shifts in the automobile industry and urban transportation. Autonomous vehicle technology in particular is expected to mitigate traffic congestion, reduce traffic accidents, and solve various issues including mobility support in underpopulated areas and support for an aging society. Progress in areas including infrastructure and development of legal systems to the levels necessary for multi-faceted social implementation will be essential in the future.

May Mobility was founded in 2017 and is the leading autonomous shuttle service provider. May Mobility brings communities closer together with fleets of self-driving vehicles that make travel safe, accessible, and eco-friendly through the implementation of autonomous vehicle technologies that can be on the road today, not someday. To accomplish this vision, their current focus is to partner with private and public entities that seek to alleviate traffic congestion while providing autonomous shuttles with May’s custom ADK*4 that can both complement existing public transportation, as well as services\ areas that are not covered by existing public transportation.

May Mobility has already provided more than 300,000 revenue-generating rides and launched services in nine cities in North America and Japan and is a leader in autonomous driving technology and the autonomous shuttle service industry.

2. Purpose of Investment

Under its Mid-Term Business Plan for FY2024, Toyota Tsusho has positioned its Next Mobility Strategy as a priority and aims to contribute to the creation of a safe and comfortable mobility society.

Through this investment, by collaborating with its professional partners and leveraging business expertise and global networks, Toyota Tsusho will accelerate the development and expansion of May Mobility’s autonomous vehicle technology as well as its autonomous shuttle services, which contributes to alleviating traffic congestion, reducing traffic accidents and providing transportation services that can both complement existing public transportation, as well as service areas that are not covered by existing public transportation.

*1 Autonomous shuttle service: A fee-based mobility service that uses autonomous vehicles operating at low speeds in limited areas (fixed routes). Currently, one autonomous vehicle operator is riding on each vehicle as a safety driver.

*2 MaaS: An Abbreviation for Mobility-as-a-Service. It refers to a service concept that integrates public transport with other mobility services, such as car sharing, ride sourcing, and bicycle sharing.

*3 CASE: It refers to new areas of "Connected" cars, "Autonomous / Automated" driving, "Shared", and "Electric". Technological advances in these areas are greatly changing the concept of the automobile.

*4 ADK(Autonomous Driving Kit):A set of system comprising computers with embedded autonomous driving software, LiDARs and other sensors.

Overview of May Mobility
May Mobility, Inc.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.
May 2017
CEO and Co-Founder Edwin Olson
Development of autonomous driving technologies and provision of autonomous shuttle services
No. of employees
215 (as of January 2022)

May Mobility's autonomous shuttle