Toyota Motor is preparing a new manufacturing method for next-generation electric vehicles that it plans to put on the market in 2026.
The Japanese automaker says production lines for the next-generation EVs won't use conveyor belts to carry around cars being built. Instead, the company says vehicles will drive through the production process on their own.
This scheme is already partially employed in Toyota's Motomachi plant in Aichi Prefecture. Officials say partially-finished vehicles drive themselves slowly inside the plant, as if they are being carried by conveyor belts, by combining sensor recognition and self-driving technologies.
New technology will also be introduced for car body manufacturing.
The body of a next-generation EV consists of three main components -- the front, center and rear sections. Officials say giga-casting technology -- which involves giant casting machines -- will be used for the front and rear sections.
Toyota seeks to slash its investment in plants by half from the current level by streamlining the manufacturing process.
The company also aims to put all-solid-state batteries into commercial use as early as 2027. Officials expect the batteries to offer quicker charging times and better cruising range.