Honda Ready To Test Autonomous Taxis In Japan

Technology / Comments

In collaboration with GM and Cruise.

The automotive industry is quickly moving towards a carbon-neutral, self-driving future, and companies such as Tesla are paving the way for truly autonomous vehicles. While some skeptics say that the industry is still a long way off, fleets of self-driving cars are already cruising the streets of major cities across the globe. Almost every major manufacturer has some sort of autonomous driving program, and one of the better-known programs is the partnership between Honda, General Motors, and Cruise. These companies are planning the launch of an autonomous vehicle mobility service business in Japan, and if it actually works, it could be a game-changer for the industry.

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The Japanese automaker, which earlier in the year beat Tesla to Level 3 autonomous driving, plans to conduct public tests in Utsunomiya City and Haga Town, Tochigi Prefecture in 2022. This signals the first step on the company's road to establishing an autonomous vehicle mobility service (MaaS) business in Japan. Before that happens, the goal will be to create a high-definition map of the area using specially modified Chevrolet Bolt vehicles. Once the HD map is ready, Honda will release its autonomous vehicles on the road to test its systems in real-world scenarios, including heavy traffic and hazardous road and weather conditions.

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Honda and Cruise will jointly collaborate on the program while it works towards establishing a new operations test site within the Honda Facility in Tochigi Prefecture. Once the autonomous vehicle MaaS business has been established, Honda plans to make use of the Cruise Origin, a vehicle jointly developed by General Motors, Cruise, and Honda that looks like two Kia Souls had a head-on collision. " Honda will strive to create new value for mobility and people's daily lives by offering its customers the joy of expanding their life's potential through its autonomous vehicle MaaS business" , the company said in a recent press release.

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