Honda to Launch Autonomous Taxi Service in Tokyo by 2026
Honda to Launch Autonomous Taxi Service in Tokyo by 2026: Japanese automaker Honda announced on Thursday (October 19th) that it will launch an unmanned taxi service utilizing autonomous vehicles in the central Tokyo area starting in early 2026.
According to reports from Kyodo News and IT Media News, Honda will collaborate with GM Cruise Holdings, a subsidiary of General Motors, to establish a new company by the first half of 2024. The goal is to provide autonomous taxi services in Tokyo from early 2026, with passengers able to book and pay for rides through a mobile application.
The unmanned taxi service will utilize the “Cruise Origin,” a face-to-face, six-seater vehicle developed by Honda and General Motors. The vehicle is designed without a driver’s seat and operates entirely in autonomous mode. If deployed on the roads of central Tokyo, it would be the first of its kind in Japan.
Initially, Honda plans to deploy several dozen autonomous taxis and gradually increase the fleet to approximately 500 vehicles, expanding the service coverage area over time.
Honda and General Motors stated that besides offering new value through autonomous driving services, the initiative aims to contribute to addressing social issues such as the shortage of taxi and bus drivers.
During a press conference, Honda’s President, Seiji Kuraishi, expressed that their development of autonomous taxis reflects a people-centric approach. Removing the driver’s seat creates a spacious and open environment for passengers, while also providing a more private space without a driver.
“The autonomous taxi service will become an unprecedented new option, enabling greater freedom in mobility and making travel time more meaningful,” Kuraishi added.
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