Geo Week News

January 10, 2018

May Mobility partners with Cepton, brings autonomous vehicles to the streets


In partnership with lidar vendor Cepton Technologies Inc., May Mobility is upgrading its Detroit self-driving vehicle fleet.

Autonomous vehicles for public transport

Founded in 2017, University of Michigan startup May Mobility aims to become one of the first companies to not only bring autonomous vehicles to the street, but to do it as a transportation method for the public.

Edwin Olson, CEO and Co-Founder of May Mobility, thinks that going after the entire transportation market, like other big companies in the space are doing, is a big stretch.

“That’s a great market, but we believe it could take five to 10 years for the technology to catch up,” Olson said. “We think that by starting with right-sized transportation in controlled environments, we can build a successful company, have vehicles on roads in the real world first, and turn on the spigot of data and operational knowledge that will help us improve our systems faster than the car companies still in R&D mode.”

Last year, the company ran different successful tests in Detroit’s major public roads, and has received a total of $11.6 million in funding to date from private donors as well as local and Silicon Valley venture capital funds such as Maven, Tandem Capital and Trucks Venture Capital.

Lidar partnership with Cepton

Recently, May Mobility partnered with Cepton Technologies, a high-performance & low-cost 3D lidar solutions provider for the automotive, industrial, and mapping markets. This partnership focuses on integrating Cepton’s products onto May Mobility’s vehicles, speeding up the development process, and the deployment of the vehicles on the streets.

“Cepton and May Mobility are biased toward action and share a common vision that autonomous vehicles can be developed and deployed with today’s advanced technology,” said Jun Pei, co-founder and CEO of Cepton. “Cepton and May each recognize that with the right teams, AV technology can be deployed and have an impact immediately, rather than rely on research and development concepts and expensive hard-to-produce components. This seamless vision and culture fit led our companies to enthusiastically pursue this partnership.”

Cepton’s product range includes the HR80 LiDAR series, launched in May 2017 for automotive and industrial applications; and the late 2017 SORA 200, designed for drones.

While continuing to develop better technologies for its vehicle fleet, May Mobility will also be on the lookout for other partnerships, and to double its staff of 15 in the coming year. On the other hand, Cepton will showcase its LiDAR solutions during CES at booth #3000 in the North Hall of the LVCC.

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