Next-generation EVs, flying cars on display at rebranded Tokyo auto show

Next-generation EVs, flying cars on display at rebranded Tokyo auto show


Next-generation EVs, flying cars on display at rebranded Tokyo auto show

Next-generation electric vehicles, flying cars and futuristic robots went on display at the rebranded Tokyo auto show on Wednesday, as automakers joined hands with wide-ranging industries to shine a light on the future of transportation.

The Japan Mobility Show, which opened to the media for a two-day run, features advanced transport technologies ranging from delivery machines to drones and robots. The event has evolved from the biennial Tokyo Motor Show and is being held for the first time in four years after a pandemic-induced hiatus.

With a shift to battery-driven vehicles accelerating worldwide, the show comes at a crucial time for Japanese automakers as they seek to catch up with overseas rivals such as Tesla Inc. in the development of EVs.

A record 475 companies are participating, with Chinese EV giant BYD Co. taking part for the first time. The event will be open to the public from Saturday to Nov. 5.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker by volume, unveiled the LF-ZC, a concept model for a next-generation EV under the Lexus brand set for release in 2026. The car is made with next-generation vehicle architecture and state-of-the-art software, the company said.

The pioneer in gasoline-electric hybrid cars was once seen as reluctant to embrace all-electric vehicles but is now channeling more resources into EVs under Koji Sato, who became Toyota’s president in April, to increase its green car lineup.

Having sold only 24,000 EVs in 2022, Toyota has pledged to increase the number to 1.5 million in 2026.

Honda Motor Co. showcased the Cruise Origin, a self-driving EV jointly developed with General Motors Co. and its Cruise LLC subsidiary.

The vehicle, without a driver’s seat or steering wheel, will be used for a driverless taxi service to be launched by the three companies in Tokyo in 2026.

Nissan Motor Co. unveiled an all-electric luxury minivan concept. The Nissan Hyper Tourer is designed to run on all-solid-state batteries and is equipped with fully autonomous driving technology.

The vehicle’s AI system can monitor the driver’s biometric signs and automatically change air conditioning and lighting to fit their mood. When in self-driving mode, its front seats can swivel 360 degrees to allow front and rear seat passengers to have face-to-face interactions.

Subaru Corp. unveiled the Subaru Air Mobility concept, a flying car under development. The vehicle, which is 6 meters in length and 4.5 meters in width, can be used for transportation in remote areas, President Atsushi Osaki said.

Suzuki Motor Corp., which has partnered with domestic air mobility venture SkyDrive Inc. to produce flying cars, exhibited a model of the vehicle it plans to start producing next spring.

Sansei Technologies Inc., a maker of roller coasters, displayed SR-02, a four-legged robot that can walk around like an elephant carrying up to four people on top.

The robot, which is about 3.6 meters in length and about 2.1 meters in height, is scheduled to be used as a ride in an amusement park, the company said.