Japan's city of the future
By Andy Brown08 January 2020
Toyota has revealed plans to build a prototype city of the future at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan.
Announced at CES 2020, the global consumer technology show in Las Vegas, US, Woven City will be a fully connected ecosystem, powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
Envisioned as a ‘living laboratory,’ the city will be home to full-time residents and researchers who will be able to test and develop technologies such as autonomy, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes and artificial intelligence (AI) in a real-world environment.
Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor Corporation President, said, “Building a complete city from the ground up, even on a small scale like this, is a unique opportunity to develop future technologies, including a digital operating system for the infrastructure.
“With people, buildings and vehicles all connected and communicating with each other through data and sensors, we will be able to test connected AI technology, in both the virtual and physical realms, maximising its potential.”
Toyota will extend an open invitation to collaborate to other commercial and academic partners and invite interested scientists and researchers from around the world to come and work on their projects in this real-world incubator.
The city is planned to be fully sustainable, with buildings made mostly of wood and robotised production methods, to minimise the carbon footprint. The roofs will be covered in photo-voltaic panels to generate solar power, adding to the energy produced by hydrogen fuel cells.
Only fully autonomous, zero-emission vehicles will be allowed on the main thoroughfares to move residents around. Throughout the city, autonomous Toyota e-Palette vehicles will be used for transport and deliveries, and as changeable mobile retail units.
Toyota has commissioned Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, CEO of Bjarke Ingels Group, to design Woven City.
Groundbreaking for the site is scheduled for early 2021. Those interested in partnering with the project can find more details at Woven-city.global