Tire maker Bridgestone has made a minority investment in autonomous vehicle technology specialist May Mobility.
Through the partnership, May Mobility will integrate Bridgestone’s digital and predictive tire-centric technologies into the Michigan-based company’s autonomous vehicles. The relationship will also allow May Mobility to expand its ability to operate and service its vehicles in new markets through Bridgestone’s network of more than 2,200 tire and autonomous service centers.
In turn, Bridgestone will gain insights into autonomous vehicle operations to improve its core tire products and mobility solutions. Its investment in May Mobility is Bridgestone’s first in public-serving autonomous vehicles.
“May Mobility is at the forefront of AV innovation and development, and we are excited to partner with the company through our broad service network of company-owned retail stores,” says Brian Goldstine, Bridgestone America’s president of mobility solutions and fleet management.
“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.”
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May Mobility and Bridgestone plan to launch their vehicle service integration plans later this year.
In January of this year, May Mobility raised $83 million in a Series C round to help fund international expansion. The investment was led by Sparx Group’s Mirai Creation Fund II with previous investors including Toyota Ventures and BMW i Ventures also involved.
Meanwhile, General Motors has announced it’s acquiring SoftBank Vision Fund 1’s equity ownership stake in autonomous driving specialist Cruise for $2.1 billion and is separately making an additional $1.35 billion investment in Cruise.
The deal replaces a previous commitment made by the fund alongside GM in 2018.
Founded in 2013, Cruise was acquired by GM in 2016. Last month, it became the first company to offer fully driverless rides to the public in a major U.S. city.