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May Mobility

Discussion in 'Autonomous Vehicles' started by woof, May 15, 2019.

  1. woof

    woof Fluffy Member

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    Anyone heard of these guys?
    May Mobility

    May Mobility, Inc. is an autonomous vehicle startup located in Ann Arbor, Michigan that deploys fleets of driverless vehicles for enterprise customers. Launched in 2017 with a strong team of experienced roboticists and software engineers with decades of experience fielding autonomous systems in the wild,

    Have just started an autonomous shuttle service in Rhode Island:
    Providence will get its first publicly available self-driving shuttle, report says - Roadshow

    So less than two years from founding to product. Their public facing info is very vague on the technology, and their job openings are more about robots than self driving. As of March 2018, had 24 employees.

    Uses Polaris GEM Electric shuttles as their base, which they gut, including removing the steering wheel.

    CEO has some interesting things to say in this video:


    Their CTO is a Mechanical Engineer with a passion for teleoperation, not autonomy.
    https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=u3Bsl8MAAAAJ&hl=en
     
  2. mwasylyk

    mwasylyk New Member

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    Rhode Island
    I'm an RI resident and hopped on the shuttle today and the experience was exactly what I was expecting. Laughable. Ignoring the fact that interior is extremely cramped, the capabilities and reliability of the self-driving tech was very disappointing.

    The shuttle stopped behind a parked car on the side of the road and got stuck waiting for other drivers to pass. It also came to stop at one of its designated locations and proceeded to smash itself into the curb and tried to continue driving forward until the driver finally took over control. It looks and feels like a home-grown retrofitted shuttle that's very much in its infancy. The visible wiring above the driver in one of the shuttles, the drop in ultrawide Samsung monitor dashboard, and the amount of times a driver needs to take control through its route makes it very obvious that this 1 year pilot program is just for them to gain more driving data. The shuttle is littered with sensor arrays and barely performs any better if at all than our current AP software on 2.5 HW, and all the video from the HW 3 demo blows it out of the water. I had to end up putting my seat-belt on because there were times where it started to brake so aggressively it was pushing us out of our seats

    It's a scraped together product from a startup company that is hitting the roads because it's giving off a false sense of its capabilities. There is video from its private demo before release day, and the driver had to take over and fully run a red light in order to take a left hand turn across an intersection.

    I brought my Ronin S & A7Riii with me and got footage of the incident, exterior sensors while driving, and their "HQ" charging center where I got to watch them startup the car. Which displayed very obviously an Ubuntu's desktop environment, making me ponder if the shuttles software is just cobbled together OpenCV processing. Because the interior is so cramped you can barely carry a backpack along with you, and the fact that you don't care/know when the computer or the driver is in control, I fail to understand how this would appeal to commuters. There are zero added benefits for riders, besides maybe an app to show their current location, which I have yet to try.

    To add to the hilarious adventure, I had hopped in just as one of the local news stations reporter and cameraman got in and with less than a minute before they went live the shuttle hit 30% charge and "needed" to be swapped. Which ruined their original shot.

    I will edit & post the video I took from my experience with it as soon as I can.
     
  3. mwasylyk

    mwasylyk New Member

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    Another side note, when the driver asked me & the reporter which direction we wanted to head back, he said he'd need to switch which route to take on the system. Making it sound like it wasn't the most trivial process, and leading me to believe that these things were so heavily trained and focused only on its pre-defined route, that it would fail to function in a "self-driving" manor if you decided to take an unexpected turn.

    When I asked the second driver, who seemed to be a higher level employee, if they got notified when the shuttle hit the curb he tried to pretend he didn't hear me/know what I asked to avoid the question until the cameraman backed me up. And he stated that someone CALLED them to tell them that they saw it hit the curb, and there was some tension between him and the first driver about the incident and possibly an earlier one as well. Since he kept pulling out a timestamp that didn't line up with the one that happened while I was in it. So either someone doesn't understand timezones, or the system has no live self reporting/notification process when an incident occurs and relies on the driver to report it and get reviewed later.
     
  4. woof

    woof Fluffy Member

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    Thanks for the report, and welcome to TMC!
     
  5. woof

    woof Fluffy Member

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    BTW @mwasylyk, Did it have a steering wheel? The video posted above mentions removing it...but that doesn't sound feasible at the moment with a safety driver needed.
     

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