Honda says it will start a testing program for autonomous vehicles later in September 2021, taking a step toward an autonomous vehicle mobility service (MaaS) business in Japan. Honda plans to launch MaaS in collaboration with Cruise and General Motors.
The testing program for MaaS technologies will be conducted in Utsunomiya City and Haga Town, Tochigi Prefecture. To start, a high-definition map of the area will be created using a special vehicle for mapping. Once the high-definition map is ready, an autonomous vehicle – a Cruise AV will be driven on public roads to develop and test autonomous vehicles adapted to the traffic environment and the relevant laws and regulations in Japan.
Honda and Cruise will jointly work on the testing program. It will also be pursued at a new operations test site to be established within a Honda facility in Tochigi Prefecture.
Eventually, Honda aims to launch its autonomous vehicle MaaS business in Japan using the Cruise Origin, a vehicle jointly developed by Honda, Cruise and General Motors, exclusively for autonomous vehicle mobility service businesses. Honda Mobility Solutions Co., Ltd., a Honda subsidiary for MaaS business, will be the operator of such business in Japan.