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Autonomous shuttles launch service for Bedrock in downtown Detroit

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May Mobility will shuttle Bedrock employees in driverless vehicles

Attendants will orient first-time riders in the initial rollout.
Courtesy of May Mobility

The future is now for Bedrock and Quicken Loan employees. Ann Arbor-based May Mobility announced “the first commercial deployment of independent autonomous vehicles on public streets in any urban core in America.” Five shuttles will transport employees of Dan Gilbert-owned companies starting on June 27.

Employees of Quicken and its affiliates will use the shuttles between offices, parking garages, and downtown destinations from 5 a.m. to midnight. The shuttles will start with a one-mile loop between the Bricktown Parking Garage and One Campus Martius. Initially, an attendant will be in the car to orient first-time riders. There’s no time frame right now for how long that will last.

Courtesy of May Mobility

The company gathers data from vehicles, riders, business, and community partners and also maps, tests, and adds environmental sensors to routes block-by-block, in hopes of helping solve transportation and parking issues facing urban commuters.

“Our partnership with Bedrock shows that our self-driving vehicles can help address today’s most difficult transportation problems,” said Edwin Olson, CEO and co-founder of May Mobility. “Our technology allows us to provide fully-managed transportation services that outperform traditional services on wait time, rider satisfaction, and other metrics. By improving the lives of Bedrock’s employees and tenants, we move closer to our vision that everyone uses May Mobility every day.”

May Mobility has also opened a new office at 601 Franklin, near the Ren Center. This location will provide full-time operational support for the route, store and charge the shuttles, and coordinate future route expansion.

This rollout comes a week after Ford officially announced plans for Michigan Central Station and Corktown, where it expects up to 5,000 Ford and partner employees will work on autonomous vehicles in the coming years.