TOKYO, Oct 19, 2023 - (JCN Newswire) - Cruise, General Motors Company (GM) and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (Honda) today announced that they have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding aiming to establish a joint venture which will begin a driverless ridehail service in Japan in early 2026. The three companies aim to establish this new company in the first half of 2024 pending regulatory approvals.
Overview of the service
With this new service, the Cruise Origin, jointly developed by GM, Cruise and Honda and purpose built for a driverless ridehail service, will come pick up the customers at a specified location and drive them to the destination, entirely through self-driving. Customers will use a dedicated app on their smart phones to complete the entire process from hailing to payment.
The Cruise Origin is a self-driving vehicle with no driver’s seat or steering wheel. It features a vast cabin space that can be as private as a personally-owned vehicle and that allows 6 people to ride simultaneously, facing-to-face. This driverless ridehail service will offer an entirely new kind of mobility experience in Japan and target a wide range of customers, including business people, families, visitors and more.
The three companies are planning to launch the driverless ridehail service in central Tokyo in early 2026. The service will start with dozens of Cruise Origins, and then expand to a fleet of 500 Cruise Origins. The three companies plan to subsequently expand and scale the service to areas outside of central Tokyo.
Collaboration with relevant industries
Through this driverless ridehail service, the three companies will strive to offer a new value of mobility, while also helping address societal issues facing Japan, such as the taxi and bus driver shortage. Honda and the new JV company will continue to strengthen coordination and collaboration with various stakeholders, including local municipal governments and transportation service providers.
The Cruise Origin is scheduled to be on display for the first time in Japan at the Honda booth at the JAPAN MOBILITY SHOW 2023 at Tokyo Big Site (Public days: October 28 – November 5, 2023).
Comments by Kyle Vogt, Founder and CEO of Cruise
“Honda has been a key partner with Cruise for several years and we’re excited to offer safer and more accessible transportation to customers in Tokyo. All of our work scaling in dense urban US markets will position us well to address the huge opportunity for autonomous vehicles in Japan.”
Comments by Mary Barra, Chair and CEO of GM
“GM has always been invested in defining the future of transportation and that’s more true today than ever. 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.”
Comments by Toshihiro Mibe, Global CEO of Honda
“Honda is striving to create the ‘joy and freedom of mobility.’ Through our driverless ridehail service, we will enable customers in Japan to experience a new value of mobility, improve the quality of their mobility experiences and offer the joy of mobility. 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.”