Honda just announced that it will leverage its development and commercial agreements with General Motors to deploy Cruise autonomous vehicles (AVs) as part of its up-and-coming autonomous vehicle mobility service (MaaS) businesses in Japan.
Cruise will send autonomous prototypes to Japan for testing and development purposes sometime this year. Honda will later use the Cruise Origin self-driving robo taxi to launch its new vehicle mobility service businesses.
“Cruise’s mission to provide safer, cleaner and more accessible transportation is not limited to the U.S.,” said Cruise CEO, Dan Ammann. “These are major changes that are needed almost everywhere in the world, and this is a small, but symbolic step with Honda on our global journey.”
General Motors and Honda signed development and commercial agreements in October of 2018. Honda will tap GM for its all-electric vehicle platforms, battery technology, and other connected services, and will rely on GM for its North America production capabilities to build two all-new Honda crossover EVs based on GM technologies. In September of 2020, GM and Honda announced a non-binding memorandum of understanding towards establishing a North American automotive alliance.
Per the recent announcement from Honda, the Japanese automaker will also leverage GM’s Cruise autonomous vehicle technology to launch new AV mobility service businesses in its home country.
“This collaboration with Cruise will enable the creation of new value for mobility and people’s daily lives, which we strive for under Honda’s 2030 Vision of serving people worldwide with the joy of expanding their life’s potential,” said President and Representative Director at Honda, Takahiro Hachigo. “Through active collaboration with partners who share the same interests and aspirations, Honda will continue to accelerate the realization of our autonomous vehicle MaaS business in Japan.”
GM revealed Cruise Origin, its first driverless car, early last year, featuring an all-electric powertrain, abundant interior space, and a funky, boxy-styled exterior.
GM purchased Cruise in 2016. The company has since developed robust autonomous driving technology using real-world test vehicles and computer simulations.