Cars might be techno-marvels, but the way cars get from the factory to your driveway, in large part, isn't. Plain old ink and paper, with carbon copies for good measure, still factors into the process – and that means an extra dose of time and (potential) error as well.

Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun says that reduce all of that, Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi will begin working with the NYK Line shipping company to develop an e-tag system that will automate the process from factory to dealer. As with the introduction of electronic systems into all sorts of industrial processes, the plan is that with an instantly accessible inventory system, everyone will be able to react more quickly to provide what's needed. Manufacturers will get a better idea of current inventory, and dealers will be better able to resupply.

NYK Line ships 30 percent of new car inventory. Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Hitachi, and Mitsubishi electronics have also shown interest, so assuming the system is developed and completed, it will come online in 2013 and is predicted to become a global standard.

[Source: Yomiuri Shimbun | Image: John-Morgan - C.C. License 2.0]