Cruise, General Motors (GM), and Honda have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the formation of a joint venture. The partnership aims to offer a driverless ridehailing service in Japan, with initial roll-out slated for early 2026 in central Tokyo.
The service will feature the Cruise Origin, a purpose-built autonomous vehicle co-developed by GM and Honda, capable of carrying up to six passengers. GM will manufacture approximately 500 units of the Cruise Origin at its Factory ZERO Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant in Michigan for the initial launch.
Pending regulatory approvals, the companies will commence testing in 2024 and aim to commercialize the service by early 2026. Plans are also underway to scale the service to areas beyond central Tokyo.
Kyle Vogt, Cruise CEO, emphasized the societal and business implications of the venture, stating, “Japan represents one of the largest potential autonomous vehicle ridehail markets in the world. This is a significant and growing societal need for safe and accessible transportation in Japan that autonomous vehicles can provide a solution for.”
Mary Barra, GM Chair and CEO, added, “The benefits of AVs – from safety to accessibility – are too profound to ignore. Through this important partnership with Cruise and Honda, we're bringing forward innovation to help more people around the world get where they need to go.”
Honda's Global CEO, Toshihiro Mibe, acknowledged the complexity of Tokyo's traffic environment but remained optimistic, saying, “By working jointly with Cruise and GM, Honda will exert further efforts to make this a reality. This will be a major step toward the realization of an advanced mobility society.”