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The future of autonomous technology at CES 2024


In case you didn’t hear, May Mobility CEO Edwin Olson had the opportunity to discuss the future of autonomous technology in two panels at the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Attendees were able to see that autonomous technology continues to expand to encompass many different services and tasks, including public transportation, janitorial work and freight and delivery.

Reflecting upon these panel discussions and his observations during the show, Olson pinpointed two key themes that need to be addressed in the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry: data transparency, and socially responsible deployments.

“Data transparency is critical to making the safety argument. Sure, AV companies themselves might claim to be safe, but should the public take their word for it? The resounding answer was no: AV companies should ‘show their work’ and bring receipts. One challenge to transparency is that AV companies have often viewed cities and regulators as a barrier — after all, it’s the regulators that can say “no” to a company’s plans and ambitions. At May Mobility, our business model (selling transit services to the cities, rather than to riders directly) flips this relationship around: our customer is the city itself, so rather than the city being a barrier, it is a champion and facilitator. With our business model, sharing data with cities and regulators drives the business– it’s not only the right thing to do, but it helps close deals.

The second theme at CES was around socially responsible deployments. Most AV companies are pursuing a ride-hail business model: think autonomous Ubers and Lyfts. But these rideshare companies’ deployments have often cannibalized public transit ridership while failing to provide services to those with disabilities and neglecting riders in less profitable, less financially advantaged areas. Again, May Mobility’s business model flips this around — we go where cities need us, not just where the most affluent riders live.”

At May Mobility, we are proud to champion efforts toward better transparency and more socially responsible deployments. Autonomous vehicles have so much potential to positively impact the communities where they are deployed. When done right, AVs can create a safer, more accessible world.

By the end of CES, it was clear that innovation and progress are still thriving where autonomous vehicles are concerned. This new technology still has its concerns, but it’s only getting better and it’s already doing so much good in the world.

And if you’d like to learn more about how autonomy enhances safety, augments user experience and enables technologies to flourish, watch “Building Approachable Autonomy in Pittsburgh.”

To learn more about how AVs have arrived in rural areas and can empower the isolated and cut energy costs, watch “Self-Driving Has Entered the Rural Chat."

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