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Honda, GM, and Cruise Collaboration for Autonomous Ride Service

Cruise, General Motors (GM), and Honda have joined forces to establish an innovative joint venture with plans to launch a driverless ride service in Japan by early 2026, pending regulatory approvals. The three automotive giants aim to set up this groundbreaking venture in the first half of 2024.

At the core of this ambitious project is the Cruise Origin, a self-driving vehicle that has been collaboratively developed by GM, Cruise, and Honda. This cutting-edge vehicle, purpose-built for autonomous ride services, promises to revolutionize transportation in Japan. It will pick up passengers at designated locations and autonomously transport them to their destinations. Every aspect of the service, from requesting a ride to making payments, can be effortlessly managed through a dedicated smartphone app.

What sets the Cruise Origin apart is its unique design – it lacks a driver’s seat or a traditional steering wheel. Notably, it features a spacious interior that resembles a personally owned vehicle, allowing up to six passengers to ride together, facing each other. This design prioritizes comfort and social interaction, offering a fresh and distinctive mobility experience for a diverse clientele, including business professionals, families, and tourists.

The trio of automotive powerhouses plans to introduce this driverless ride service in the heart of Tokyo in early 2026. The initial fleet will consist of dozens of Cruise Origins, with the subsequent goal of expanding the fleet to 500 such vehicles. The ultimate objective is to extend this service beyond central Tokyo, making autonomous transportation available to a wider range of areas.

Kyle Vogt, the founder and CEO of Cruise, expressed his enthusiasm for the venture, highlighting Honda’s longstanding partnership with Cruise. He remarked, “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 experience in scaling in dense urban US markets positions us well to address the tremendous opportunity for autonomous vehicles in Japan.”

Mary Barra, the chair and CEO of GM, emphasized their dedication to shaping the future of transportation. She stated, “GM has always been committed to defining the future of transportation, and this holds truer today than ever. The benefits of autonomous vehicles – from safety to accessibility – are too significant to overlook. Through this vital partnership with Cruise and Honda, we’re introducing innovation that leverages our expertise in state-of-the-art software and hardware to help people worldwide reach their destinations.”

Toshihiro Mibe, Global CEO of Honda, shared the company’s vision for this venture, saying, “Honda is striving to create the ‘joy and freedom of mobility.’ Through our driverless ride service, we will enable customers in Japan to experience a new value of mobility, enhance the quality of their mobility experiences, and offer the joy of mobility. Providing this service in central Tokyo, where the traffic environment is complex, will be a substantial challenge. Nevertheless, by collaborating with Cruise and GM, Honda will exert additional efforts to transform this vision into a reality.

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