By Otsile Kadiege
Honda announced that they will start a testing program for autonomous vehicles in September 2021, taking a step toward an autonomous vehicle mobility service (MaaS) business in Japan, which Honda is planning to launch under collaboration with Cruise and General Motors.
The testing program for autonomous vehicles mobility service technologies will be conducted in Utsunomiya City and Haga Town, Tochigi Prefecture. As the first step to prepare for thorough testing, a high-definition map of the area will be created using a specialized vehicle for mapping. Once the high-definition map is ready, the autonomous vehicle, 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, and it will be pursued at a new operations test site to be established within a Honda facility in Tochigi Prefecture.
Further ahead, 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.
The Japanese automaker said they 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.
Locally, Honda’s technology moves include the recent introduction of the Fit Hybrid hatchback. We are optimistic that in the near future the company will consider the local introduction of the Honda e.
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