Tokyo Century Corporation has invested in May Mobility, Inc., a U.S.-based company that develops autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, with the goal of deploying and disseminating AVs across North America and Japan.

As Japan responds to a shortage of drivers for commercial vehicles and the declining birthrate and increased aging population, expectations for practical applications of autonomous driving technologies continue to rise. As a technology company with considerable experience and a strong reputation in autonomous driving in the U.S. and Japan, May Mobility has attracted investments from many Japan-based companies including Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT).

The Tokyo Century Group offers various mobility services, including auto leasing for both corporate and individual customers as well as car rentals. The Group has recently set electric vehicles (EVs) and their peripheral businesses, data business, autonomous driving technology and other next-generation technologies as potential areas for future growth while focusing on commercializing new mobility services through actively seeking partnerships and collaborations with startups known for their exceptional technological capabilities.

The investment decision was driven by the desire to expand mobility offerings. In addition to the strengths of May Mobility, by combining the Group’s business foundation with the strengths of investment partners, we expect to generate synergies to resolve the aforementioned various social issues.

Moving forward, Tokyo Century will collaborate with various stakeholders, including local communities and transportation businesses to introduce autonomous driving services into society. By providing reliable and safe AV services, we will play a part in achieving sustainable mobility.


ANN ARBOR, Mich. — May Mobility, a leader in the development and deployment of autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, today announced the launch of the company’s first driverless service for riders on public roads in Sun City, Arizona. May Mobility’s rider-only vehicles, which leverage its proprietary Multi-Policy Decision Making (MPDM) technology, will operate daily during the week without an operator sitting in the driver's seat. Sun City represents the first of many communities globally where May Mobility aims to launch its rider-only transit services to transform cities by providing accessible, safe and reliable transportation.

"Today, we take the key step of beginning rider-only operations, a cornerstone for our commercial growth and expansion moving forward," said Edwin Olson, CEO and co-founder of May Mobility. "We believe it is critical to work closely with our key strategic partners, regulators, insurers, and riders, as we roll out our technology step-by-step."

May Mobility’s Multi-Policy Decision Making system is uniquely designed to solve the challenge of making safe driving decisions under uncertainty, including when the vehicle encounters an unknown scenario. MPDM runs real-time, on-board simulations to analyze thousands of possible scenarios every second, choosing the safest one to execute. This approach to autonomous technology makes May Mobility vehicles adept at handling edge cases and enables the company to scale more efficiently and quickly than would otherwise be possible.

"May Mobility has built a more scalable autonomy solution at a fraction of the cost of other systems of a similar maturity," said Anna Brunelle, chief financial officer of May Mobility. "And as we continue to expand and improve our driverless operational design domain, we step closer to our goal of being the first profitable AV company."

Before transitioning to its rider-only service, May Mobility vehicles began operating on public roads in Sun City with a safety operator in April 2023. The company launched its on-demand autonomous public transit service with TransitTech company Via, to serve the retirement community of Sun City and provide greater access to affordable mobility with shared, on-demand AVs. The service was designed to allow the aging population to gain increased freedom and mobility safely and reliably. The lessons from this service set the foundation for the transition to a safe rider-only service designed to meet the needs of the local community.

Through May Mobility’s first rider-only service, a select group of Early Riders in Sun City will have the ability to request a pickup in one of May Mobility’s Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS vehicles from a variety of stops. The rider-only service will initially operate on public roads Monday through Friday in the afternoon and will be available at no cost to Early Riders.

May Mobility’s rider-only service will be powered by Via, the global leader in TransitTech, and will serve resident complexes, medical centers and other key locations. The Early Riders consist of a group of Sun City residents with varying transportation needs. Their feedback will play a pivotal role in shaping how the company continues to ramp up rider-only operations, keeping safety in mind at every step, and how AVs can be successfully used in public transit.

May Mobility expects to significantly expand its rider-only services as part of its plan to improve transportation across markets. Sun City locals interested in becoming an Early Rider may apply here.

May Mobility’s public sector go-to-market strategy is to partner directly with stakeholders like cities, transit agencies, municipalities and government agencies to identify gaps in current public transportation systems and solve real transportation challenges for communities. May Mobility’s shift to rider-only operations is a key next step toward accomplishing those goals.