GM’s Cruise to Autonomously Roam Japanese Streets for Testing

Cruise AV ready to serve Japan 1 photo
Photo: Honda
Believe it or not, there are companies other than Tesla that keep chasing the autonomous driving dream. We say that because, whereas three or so years ago, not a day passed without us hearing something coming from this emergent industry, things have clearly cooled down.
But they’ll probably heat up once more, and one of the first signs of that is the announcement made by Honda that GM’s Cruise autonomous vehicle (AV) will begin testing in Japan soon.

The move is made possible by the fact that Honda agreed back in 2018 to pump $2 billion over the next 12 years in Cruise, the GM offshoot company tasked with making AVs. The announced plan at the time was to have whatever technology is developed launched into service as the backbone of some future mobility service, and perhaps even delivery business.

According to Honda, by the end of the year, the first AVs will be on Japanese roads for testing. No specifics were provided, other that these machines will support Honda’s upcoming autonomous vehicle mobility service (MaaS).

“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 in a statement Takahiro Hachigo, President & Representative Director, Honda.

“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.”

As is, Cruise Origin will eventually be a weirdly-shaped vehicle with no steering wheel, no rearview mirror, or pedals, which is to say it will be a full Level 5. That’s not what the Japanese will get though this year: Cruise will probably fit Origin hardware on an existing platform and send it on its merry way.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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