Honda to join forces with Japan taxi companies on driverless service

Honda Motor will team up with taxi companies to roll out self-driving cabs in Japan, supplying vehicles and systems to existing operators in a division of labor that is unusual in the nascent industry.

The automaker looks to start putting driverless taxis on Tokyo roads in 2026 in partnership with Teito Motor Transportation and Kokusai Motorcars. Honda is lobbying the government to make the necessary regulatory changes…

The taxis will have Level 4 self-driving capabilities, meaning that they will be capable of fully autonomous driving under specified conditions. Japan requires that these vehicles be operated under human supervision.

Operating cabs with only remote monitoring takes complex decision-making and ensuring a high level of safety — hurdles that taxi operators would have trouble meeting on their own. Honda’s support package would lower this barrier to entry while also reducing costs.

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