Driverless in Sun City, A Conversation with Edwin Olson, May Mobility - The Road to Autonomy

Driverless in Sun City

Edwin Olson, CEO & Co-Founder of May Mobility joined Grayson Brulte on The Road to Autonomy podcast to discuss going driver-out in Sun City, Arizona and the economics of the business.

The conversation begins with Edwin discussing what went into launching fully driverless operations in Sun City, Arizona.

There is a bunch of technology that has to come together to meet your safety requirements and your capabilities. But actually pulling a safety driver out is about so much more than the technology. We have to bring our riders, our partners, the regulators, insurance companies, first responders. There is a huge amount of work that has to come together to get everyone ready to give this project a thumbs-up.

– Edwin Olson

May Mobility chose to launch in Sun City because of the driving environment and the economic potential. From a technical standpoint they were able to go driver-out in Sun City because of their Multi-Policy Decision Making system. May Mobility’s Multi-Policy Decision Making system has enabled them to deploy in multiple geographic and weather environments such as downtown Detroit, northern Minnesota and Sun City, Arizona.

You are never going to become a Babe Ruth by only playing tee ball. You have to start to taking the pitches and playing the hard game.

– Edwin Olson

All of May Mobility’s deployments operate year round, in sun, rain, snow and are revenue generating. The business model being implemented by May compliments public transit as it offers a better return on transit investments for cities and transit agencies. Currently it costs roughly $150 an hour to operate a transit bus in most cities.

Our revenue potential is about $150 an hour per vehicle.

– Edwin Olson

The service being provided by May Mobility is as an on-demand point-to-point service being delivered in micro-transit model. As the company gradually removes the safety driver from operations, margins are expected to be around 60%. Driverless operations will ensure a better service without having to rely on drivers who might not show up for work.

By switching into a rider-only product we can solve the labor problem and be able to turn on this very high margin business.

– Edwin Olson

As May continues to grow, the company will look to add new vehicles to the mix in addition to their current fleet of fully redundant Toyota Sienna hybrid minivans.

We are constantly evaluating other platforms that could help expand our platform offerings so that we can grow our accessible market and grow the business in turn.

– Edwin Olson

May Mobility is a business. Edwin understands this as he is highly focused on developing a business model that is scalable and profitable long-term. When he meets with investors, he breaks down the economics of the May Mobility model and why they are different from the traditional robo-taxi business.

In addition to operating an autonomous vehicle business, May is licensing their data to insurance companies. Creating an entirely new revenue stream for the company.

Wrapping up the conversation, Ed shares his vision for the future of May Mobility.

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Recorded on Thursday, December 21, 2023