May Mobility, a US-based developer of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology and shuttle operations, has commenced testing a Toyota Sienna equipped with the next generation of its autonomous driving kit (ADK) and will work with Toyota to add the vehicle to public shuttle fleets in 2022.
The vehicle features Toyota’s highly adaptable Vehicle Control Interface (VCI), which the manufacturer has developed to allow for seamless technology integration and robust operation of key vehicle control systems, such as steering, brakes and acceleration.
“As we’ve seen throughout the industry, companies developing self-driving vehicles need strong OEM partners to be successful,” said Edwin Olson, co-founder and CEO of May Mobility. “With Toyota, May Mobility can deploy our unique self-driving technology on the best vehicles in the world.”
The Sienna technology integration marks a significant milestone in May Mobility’s cooperative relationship with Toyota. From an initial investment in May Mobility to Series B fundraising in 2019, the relationship has expanded to include a shuttle fleet in Hiroshima, Japan, with MONET (a joint venture between Softbank and Toyota). May Mobility was also selected to provide autonomous shuttle services in Indianapolis, Indiana, as part of a Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) initiative beginning later this spring.
Keiji Yamamoto, operating officer of Toyota and president of Connected Company, said, “We are delighted that Toyota’s “Autono-MaaS” (autonomous-mobility as a service) vehicle based on the Sienna will be utilized for May Mobility’s public road testing. This vehicle is equipped with the Vehicle Control Interface (VCI) that can easily connect to the ADK. Toyota continues to collaborate with automated mobility service providers through these vehicles and is implementing Autono-MaaS swiftly, aiming to realize a society where all people have the freedom of movement.”
Modifications to the Sienna include the addition of lidar, radar and camera sensors, along with the compute and control modules that make up May Mobility’s autonomous driving kit. The shuttle is currently being tested on public roads in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and additional shuttles are under development for use in public fleets in 2022.