Tyre specialist Bridgestone Americas has invested in autonomous vehicle (AV) transit provider May Mobility.
May's AV deployments include on-demand shared rides and public transportation, with accessibility often a part of the service offering, in the US and Japan.
Bridgestone's minority stake will enable "the future integration of Bridgestone’s digital and predictive tyre-centric technologies into May Mobility AVs, granting deeper AV intelligence for even safer and more efficient operation", the firms say in a statement.
Brian Goldstine, Bridgestone president of mobility solutions and fleet management, says: “Our future plans to integrate the Bridgestone suite of predictive maintenance insights will help ensure that May Mobility vehicles operate even more safely, efficiently and sustainably.”
These include predictive algorithms to monitor the health of tyres, and a cloud-based fleet management system, Azuga.
Bridgestone will also "gain valuable insights into AV operations to improve its core tyre products and mobility solutions", it says.
May, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will benefit from being able to expand the operation and service of its vehicles in new markets through Bridgestone’s US network of 2,200 tyre and automotive service centres under brands such as Firestone Complete Auto Care.
It will also use Bridgestone's mobile service provider, Firestone Direct, to help to scale AV operations for its fleet of Toyota passenger vehicles, including the Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS.
May CEO Edwin Olson added: "This collaboration builds upon our shared mission of providing safe and sustainable mobility solutions on a global scale.”