The Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF), Energy Systems Network (ESN) and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), have joined with May Mobility, a developer of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology and shuttle operations, to launch a free autonomous shuttle service in Central Indiana, USA.
The free service is part of TMF’s Together in Motion Indiana project. It commenced operations at the start of June and serves the downtown Indianapolis and Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) communities. Together in Motion is an initiative bringing stakeholders together to test the interoperability of mobility innovations and facilitate the efficient movement of people and goods.
“At May Mobility, our mission is to bring safe, accessible and reliable mobility solutions to communities around the world,” said Edwin Olson, co-founder and CEO of May Mobility. “We’re excited to bring AV technology to Central Indiana through our partnership with the Toyota Mobility Foundation, Energy Systems Network and IndyGo.”
The service is available to the public and features five Lexus RX 450h vehicles and one wheelchair-accessible Polaris GEM shuttle equipped with May Mobility’s autonomous technology. There are nine designated stops in Indianapolis, each identifiable by a sign providing route information and a scannable QR code leading to the Together in Motion Indiana website.
Through the QR code, riders can learn more about May Mobility technology and the shuttle route. Shuttles arrive in 10- to 15-minute intervals on a rotating loop. The route was designed to increase mobility options by providing a connection from the Vermont Station – along IndyGo’s Red Line – to areas west of downtown. Additionally, the route circles the IU Health University Hospital and the Riley Hospital for Children campuses. Riders can plan their trips on Google Maps and see live updates on a shuttle’s location.
“IndyGo exists to connect our community to economic and cultural opportunities through safe, reliable and accessible mobility experiences,” said Lesley Gordon, vice president of communications and marketing at IndyGo. “We will continue to lend our knowledge and expertise with the team at May Mobility and to work alongside these industry leaders as they seek to improve Central Indiana’s mobility ecosystem.”
Before opening the shuttle service to the public, May Mobility provided Indianapolis residents and Indy 500 race-week guests with free 10-minute rides along a special demonstration route near the Indiana Statehouse. More than 60 attendees experienced the AV shuttle service in a Lexus RX 450h equipped with May Mobility’s autonomous technology.
In the next phase of the initiative, May Mobility will operate an AV shuttle route in Fishers, Indiana. This service is slated to begin in November 2021.