By Kosaku Narioka
Honda Motor and General Motors plan to begin driverless ride services in Japan in 2026, targeting a wide range of customers.
The Japanese and U.S. automakers and GM’s driverless-car unit Cruise said Thursday that they planned to start the service in central Tokyo in early 2026 and to subsequently expand to other areas in Japan.
“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 Chief Executive Toshihiro Mibe.
The companies aim to set up a joint venture in the first half of 2024, they said.
The service will start with dozens of Cruise Origins vehicles, jointly developed by the companies for a driverless ride service, and then expand to a fleet of 500 vehicles, they said. The service targets a wide range of customers, including businesspeople, families and visitors.
Customers will use a dedicated app on their smartphones to complete the entire process from hailing to payment, the companies said. The vehicles will pick up the customers at a specified location and drive them to the destination, entirely through self-driving.
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