A joint venture between three leading auto companies, Honda, General Motors (GM), and Cruise, is set to revolutionize the taxi services in Japan. The three companies aim to bring driverless ride services in Japan by 2026, and preparations have already started.
Passengers will be able to request a cab using a smartphone app. The taxi service will pick up passengers from their specified location and drive to their destination by entirely self-driving. For this service, Honda will be using Cruise Origin, which is a self-driving car with no steering wheel or even a driver’s seat.
Cruise Origin is jointly developed by Honda and General Motors. It is a fully autonomous taxi or a robotaxi designed for cab services with a comfortable interior and seats for over six people sitting face-to-face. The vehicle also includes a lot of amenities, including Wi-Fi access and entertainment devices.
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Honda stated that the joint venture of the three companies for self-driving cars will be established by the first half of 2024, subject to regulatory approval. The driverless service is expected to launch in early 2026 around central Tokyo. Firstly, it’ll start with a few Cruise Origin and then expand to more vehicles and places in Japan.
This venture between GM and Honda represents an extension of their longstanding partnership, which spans a decade of collaboration. In 2013, GM and Honda joined forces to develop cutting-edge hydrogen fuel cell systems. Then, in 2018, Honda committed a $2 billion investment in Cruise over a 12-year period, solidifying their dedication to innovation and the future of mobility.
The launch of driverless taxi services in Japan signifies a transformative shift in how we envision transportation. It is expected to redefine the transportation industry in Japan and the world.