Honda announced on Thursday that it aims to launch a driverless taxi service in central Tokyo starting from early 2026 by teaming up with General Motors and its autonomous driving unit.

Honda, GM and the American automaker’s autonomous driving unit Cruise, will establish a joint venture next year to prepare for the robotaxi service that will be using the Cruise Origin vehicle, which has no driver’s seat and can accommodate up to six passengers.

In Japan, self-driving technology is often seen as an effective solution to maintain transportation services in aging rural areas facing population decline, with transportation service operators struggling to make a profit amid a shortage of drivers.