GM, Cruise and Honda to Begin Autonomous Vehicle Ridehail Service in Japan

General Motors, Honda and GM’s autonomous driving subsidiary Cruise have agreed to setup a driverless ride-hailing joint venture in Japan which will begin a driverless ride in early 2026.

The three companies aim to establish the JV in first half of 2024. The company will use the Cruise Origin autonomous vehicle to give rides in Tokyo, Japan’s largest city.

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.

“GM has always been invested in defining the future of transportation and that’s more true today than ever,” said GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra. “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.”

With this new service, the Cruise Origin, jointly developed by GM, Cruise and Honda and purpose built for a driverless ride 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 ride service will offer an entirely new kind of mobility experience in Japan. Targeting and target a wide range of customers, including business people, families, visitors and more.

Through this driverless ride 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.


Blagojce Krivevski

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