GM and Honda have announced preparations to launch a new autonomous vehicle service in Japan starting early 2026. The service will be provided via a new joint venture between GM and Honda that will deploy a fleet of driverless Cruise Origin autonomous robotaxis in Tokyo. GM and Honda initially announced in 2021 plans to deploy Cruise autonomous vehicles in Japan. Cruise is currently offering driverless ride sharing services in the U.S.
GM states that “Japan has the potential to be one of the largest driverless ridehail markets in the world as large cities experience high demand for taxis.” To meet that need, GM will produce roughly 500 units of the Cruise Origin robotaxi to launch the new autonomous service in Japan. The new Cruise Origin units will be assembled at GM’s Factory Zero plant in Michigan, formerly Detroit-Hamtramck.
GM unveiled Cruise Origin early in 2020. Roughly the size of a traditional crossover, Cruise Origin includes seating for up to six passengers, with riders situated on opposing bench seats and a large amount of cabin space, plus several digital screens providing relevant information to passengers. The Cruise Origin is motivated by all-electric propulsion technology, and is fully autonomous, with no human pilot onboard.
GM purchased Cruise in 2016. At present, Cruise has deployed a fleet of Chevy Bolt EV hatchbacks which have been upgraded with autonomous driving tech for testing purposes. The company has expanded its testing operations to a variety of major cities across the U.S., and is currently offering driverless rideshare services to customers.
“GM has always been invested in defining the future of transportation and that’s more true today than ever,” said GM 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.”