Cruise, General Motors (GM), and Honda have announced a collaboration to introduce a driverless ride service in Tokyo by 2026. The joint venture, set to be formally established in the first half of 2024, aims to revolutionize the transportation landscape in the bustling streets of central Tokyo and beyond, using the Cruise Origin autonomous vehicle (AV).
The Cruise Origin boasts a design that breaks away from conventional norms, ditching the traditional driver’s seat or steering wheel. With seating capacity for up to six passengers, seated face-to-face. The service will enable customers to book a robotaxi via an app, arranging for pick-up and drop-off at designated points.
Initially, a few dozens Curise Origin vehicles will be deployed in central Tokyo in early 2026 before expaning to the rest of the country, aiming to eventually scale-up to 500 vehicles.
“This will be a major step toward the realization of an advanced mobility society. Providing this service in central Tokyo where the traffic environment is complex will be a great challenge, however, by working jointly with Cruise and GM, Honda will exert further efforts to make it a reality,” said Honda Global’s CEO, Toshihiro Mibe.
Highlighting the potential of the Japanese market, GM has expressed confidence in the region’s prospects as a significant player in the driverless ridehail arena. Citing the surging demand for transportation services and the pressing issue of a shortage of taxi drivers, the automotive giant emphasized the urgent need for “accessible forms of transportation”.
“The benefits of AVs — from safety to accessibility — are too profound to ignore, and through this important partnership with Cruise and Honda, we’re bringing forward innovation that leverages our expertise in cutting-edge software and hardware to help more people around the world get where they need to go,” stated Mary Barra, GM’s Chief Executive.