Cruise, General Motors and Honda 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.
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 spacious cabin 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.
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.