May Mobility has launched the Detroit Automated Driving Systems (ADS) pilot in partnership with the City of Detroit’s Office of Mobility Innovation (OMI), and the Michigan Mobility Collaborative (MMC). The service launched through this initiative, called ‘Accessibili-D’, will target Detroit citizens who live with disabilities or are over the age of 62 and operate from June 20, 2024, through 2026. The service will, likewise, be provided to these customers free of charge.

The AV fleet to be utilized in the service will be deployed by May Mobility and include two wheelchair-accessible vehicles to provide participants with greater access to healthcare facilities, shopping centers, jobs, and social and recreational activities. Accessibili-D will operate across 68 stops in 11 square miles of downtown Detroit on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. On weekends, it will run from 8:00AM to 1:00 PM. May Mobility highlighted that anyone interested in participating in the pilot must submit an Expression of Interest form, after which they will be contacted to enroll. Once enrolled, the customer can then use a dedicated Accessibili-D smartphone app to book a ride.

Accessibili-D’s launch follows the Detroit City Council’s approval of a $2.4 million (€2.2 million / £1.8 million) contract with May Mobility to provide the service. With the MMC, May Mobility then conducted outreach programs within the community to educate future riders about the service, pinpointing specific locations of interest around downtown Detroit that would best serve them. As Accessibili-D develops, May Mobility and OMI plan to leverage rider feedback to further expand the service zone over the coming months with additional stops and vehicles.

As it prepared to launch the new service, May Mobility performed vehicle testing with the University of Michigan’s Mcity and the American Center for Mobility (ACM). Testing protocols included the Mcity Safety Assessment Program, made up of a Driver’s License Test and Driving Intelligence Test, and a comprehensive testing and evaluation process developed by ACM that simulated real-world scenarios encountered in urban settings.

The AV fleet used in the Accessibili-D pilot leverage May Mobility’s Multi-Policy Decision Making (MPDM) technology in combination with a sensor suite consisting of multiple LiDAR, radar, and camera sensors. These sensors provide MPDM with both a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s surroundings, and data it can use to virtually simulate thousands of possible scenarios every second. As the AV detects vehicles, pedestrians, bikers and pets, MPDM quickly analyzes and determines the best maneuver to perform to efficiently and safely reach its destination, even in unencountered situations.