Bridgestone Bought a Small Stake in May Mobility, Testing of AVs Will Expand

May Mobility's Lexus RX 450h 6 photos
Photo: May Mobility on Facebook
May Mobility's Lexus RX 450hMay Mobility's Polaris GEM EVMay Mobility's Lexus RX 450hMay Mobility's Lexus RX 450hMay Mobility's Lexus RX 450h
Japanese tire manufacturer Bridgestone followed Toyota’s lead and confirmed the buying of a small stake in a U.S. startup named May Mobility. They’re focused on autonomous vehicles (AVs) and Bridgestone wants to be a part of the technological progress.
Toyota has already backed May Mobility. The automaker hopes to extract the results of the testing program, mold them for public use cases in various scenarios, and make its future cars able to drive themselves in almost any environment. There’s still a long way to go, and maybe that’s why Bridgestone decided to join the mission too.

May Mobility says its Multi-Policy Decision Making for AVs is a better approach that’s designed to adapt in little time and can be deployed for multiple vehicles. Their research and development included shuttles that were offered without a fee from Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm under the A2GO branding. Those interested had the possibility to use a fleet of five AVs – four Lexus RX 450h and one GEM EV – in a small city area. Now the program will expand, and Bridgestone will help.

With the help coming from the Japanese tire manufacturer, May Mobility will be able to extend its area of operations and get even more cars to use its systems for autonomous vehicles. Bridgestone says it has ready over 2,200 service centers that can incorporate the needs of the trial program for AVs.

Moreover, May Mobility will be able to broaden their research and they’ll be able to refine their systems because Bridgestone is looking to share in-wheel sensors and proprietary predictive calculations to “monitor the health of tires, including tire pressure, temperature and tread wear, which will allow for proactive and predictive maintenance that helps improve fleet safety.”

Bridgestone is looking to test and integrate its own tire-related products in AVs. Moreover, this is the first time the company has invested in autonomous technology.

Bridgestone and Toyota have a long-lasting relationship. It’s no wonder we’re seeing both companies involved in a startup that’s focused on making drivers and driving irrelevant. The future is autonomous.

The financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.
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About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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