Tire maker Bridgestone has acquired a minority stake in May Mobility, a Michigan-based autonomous shuttle startup, marking another investment in the autonomous vehicle startup.
Previously, Bridgestone partnered with Swedish autonomous trucking startup EinRide and joined Kodiak Robotics, an autonomous trucking startup, to find sustainable mobility solutions for electric autonomous trucking.
Bridgestone recently announced a partnership with Yoshi, a last-mile delivery platform focused on car care services, and Tyrata, a tire sensor and data management company. Like other recent strategic investments, Bridgestone did not share its stake in May Mobility.
Through Bridgestone’s partnership with May Mobility, startup AV will integrate Bridgestone’s predictive tire wear modeling technology into its vehicles later this year. Bridgestone’s in-wheel sensors and predictive algorithms monitor tire health, including tire pressure, temperature and tread wear, which can ultimately help lower the total cost of self-driving vehicle ownership and improve fleet safety. Through this integration, Bridgestone will also gain insight into the AV business to improve its core tire products.
Brian Goldstein, President of Bridgestone Americas Mobility & Fleet Management Solutions, said: “Our future plan to integrate Bridgestone’s predictive maintenance analytics suite will make mobile vehicles even safer, more efficient and greener.”
May Mobility also expects to improve business efficiency by leveraging Bridgestone’s Azuga fleet mobility cloud solution, which Bridgestone acquired last year. Azuga adds fleet management, smart cameras, and route planning capabilities to May’s capabilities.
Mei is using her low-speed AVs in five cities, including Hiroshima, Japan, instead of AXI’s Waymo and Cruise robotic models designed to improve public transportation. Last year, May launched an autonomous shuttle service on demand with transit technology company Via in Arlington, Texas; and Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The company, which plans to shift its fleet from a Lexus hybrid SUV to a Toyota Sienna hybrid minivan, raised $83 million for the C Series earlier this year, and the money could be widely used in hopes of becoming profitable in the US and Japan. help.
To support the expansion planned for May, Bridgestone will also provide service and technical support to the AV startup through its flagship stores. Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus, Hidden Tires Plus and Wheel Works, and Firestone Direct, Bridgestone’s mobile service provider.
“The ability to drive and service vehicles at 2,200 Bridgestone stores nationwide gives May Mobility an unprecedented opportunity to scale nationwide,” said May Mobility CEO Edwin Olsson. “This partnership builds on our shared mission to provide secure and sustainable mobility solutions around the world.”