The future means no more awkward conversations with taxi drivers.

Japan is no stranger to autonomous vehicles–from self-driving bus research, to mini self-driving cars that deliver ramen, and autonomous cargo ships in the works–but things are about to happen on a much larger scale.

On October 19, GM, Cruise, and Honda announced that they aim to start a self-driving taxi service in the heart of Tokyo by the beginning of 2026. The companies recently signed an agreement to set up a joint business venture in the first half of 2024.

▼ This could be what your Tokyo trip looks like in a few short years.

This self-driving taxi service aims to address the lack of taxi drivers and bus drivers in Tokyo and beyond. Shareholders such as government bodies and public transportation officials will help the companies solve this societal issue.

▼ These taxis will stand out, to say the least.

The service aims to begin with a few dozen Cruise Origins–autonomous, self-driving, six-seater vehicles with seats that face each other–in the beginning of 2026. They will increase the number of taxis to around 500 after making necessary adjustments and tweaks along the way.

The self-driving taxis, which don’t even have a driver’s seat, will pick up customers at designated spots around the city and drop them off at similarly designated spots. Everything, including payment, can be completed on your smartphone.

If you happen to be in Tokyo between October 28 and November 5, you can see a real Cruise Origin at the Japan Mobility Show 2023 at Tokyo Big Sight. You can find this futuristic vehicle at the Honda booth. As more updates about the service are released, we’ll keep you updated!

Source and images: Honda
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!