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Honda to Start Self-Driving Taxi Service in Tokyo, CEO Says


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The Cruise Origin self-driving vehicle.

Autonomous taxis could help address one of the key issues facing the industry in Japan: a shortage of drivers, after more than 10,000 drivers left the industry during the pandemic.

Credit: Honda Motor Co.

Honda Motor Co. will start a self-driving taxi service in Tokyo in early 2026, in a move that may help alleviate a shortage of cab drivers in one of the world's most-populous cities.

The Japanese automaker has been developing the driverless vehicle with General Motors Co. and its subsidiary Cruise LLC, which is already testing its autonomous taxis in four US cities. It will start with dozens of vehicles in central Tokyo, with a goal of expanding to 500 vehicles, before eventually taking the service named "Cruise Origin" to other areas, Honda Chief Executive Officer Toshihiro Mibe said at an event Thursday.

The boxy vehicle, which can carry up to six passengers, won't have a driver's seat or steering wheel, allowing riders to sit facing each other in a cabin-like space that can be used for meetings on-the-go. It will be displayed at the Japan Mobility Show, which starts later this month.

From Bloomberg
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