Starting in June 2018, May Mobility launched a self-driving shuttle service in downtown Detroit. The company provides six-passenger electric vehicles that transport Bedrock LLC employees to and from a parking garage and their downtown Detroit offices. The vehicles have a top speed of 25 miles per hour and operate along a 1-mile route in the central business district with an attendant on board. The vehicles use lidar, radar and camera sensors to detect and navigate the environment. May Mobility has added radio frequency signals embedded in street lights and signs along the route to provide added safety.
After delivering 10,000 rides, the company reported its customer satisfaction (of riders) and buyer satisfaction (of the company that pays for the service) as measured by the Net Promoters Score (NPS), an industry standard method of understanding customer satisfaction. A 100 score is the highest possible score. An NPS of +50 is considered excellent and a score of +70 is considered exceptional.
- May Mobility administered an NPS survey before and after autonomous electric shuttles replaced 30-passenger diesel buses. There was a shift in customer satisfaction from -30 to +67 among riders after launch of the autonomous shuttles.
- Convenience: "There is almost always a shuttle at each stop when I arrive."
- Commute time: "It’s fast and more reliable than the previous shuttle."
- Comfort: "On time, with very friendly fleet attendant. I love the ride."
Qualitative survey data showed the riders reported the following benefits:
- The buyer of the service (Bedrock LLC) gave it a 100 NPS, the highest score possible. The buyer cited reliability of service, high quality, consistency and responsiveness as the basis for the high score.