- Toyota is building a 175-acre smart city in Japan at the base of Mount Fuji, the company announced earlier this month.
- The “city of the future” will function as a testing ground for technologies like robotics,smart homes, and artificial intelligence.
- It will start off with a population of 2,000 Toyota employees and their families, retired couples, retailers, and scientists.
- Residents will live in smart homes with in-home robotics and artificial intelligence systems to assist with daily living and monitor health.
- Only self-driving, zero-emissions vehicles will be allowed to drive on the main roads.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Toyota is building a 175-acre smart city at the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji, about 62 miles from Tokyo, the company announced earlier this month at CES, the biggest tech trade show of the year.
The “city of the future” will function as a testing ground for technologies like robotics,smart homes, and artificial intelligence and will be home to a starting population of 2,000 Toyota employees and their families, retired couples, retailers, and scientists, who will test and develop these technologies.
Residents of the city, which Toyota has dubbed the “Woven City,” will live in smart homes with in-home robotics systems to assist with daily living and sensor-based artificial intelligence to monitor health and take care of other basic needs.
It will be designed by famed Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, who’s behind high-profile projects such as 2 World Trade Centre in New York City and Google’s California and London headquarters. Ingels has designed the Woven City to be fully sustainable, with an ecosystem powered by hydrogen fuel cells and roads dedicated to self-driving, zero-emissions vehicles.
Construction of the Woven City will start in 2021, and Toyota plans to have the first residents move in within 5 years, a spokesperson told Business Insider.
Here’s what the 175-acre smart city will look like when it’s finished.
Toyota’s planned 175-acre smart city will sit at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan, which is about 62 miles from Tokyo.
Called the “Woven City,” the development is expected to be fully sustainable, powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
The “city of the future” will function as a testing ground for technologies like robotics, smart homes, and artificial intelligence, according to the company.
“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 city’s infrastructure,” Toyota president Akio Toyoda said in a press release.
“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 the physical realms … maximizing its potential,” Toyoda added.
Toyota plans to send 2,000 people to live in the Woven City to start and then gradually grow the population.
The first residents will be Toyota employees and their families, retired couples, retailers, visiting scientists, and industry partners, according to the company.
Residents will live in homes outfitted with the latest in-home robotics technology to assist with daily living as well as sensor-based artificial intelligence to monitor health and take care of basic needs.
Despite the planned high-tech homes, Toyota says that “encouraging human connection will be an equally important aspect of this experience.”
The city will include multiple parks and a large central plaza for social gatherings.
Toyota’s president says the city is part of a “quest to create an ever-better way of life and mobility for all.”
The city’s buildings will be made mostly of wood to minimise the carbon footprint.
And rooftops will be covered in photo-voltaic panels to generate solar power and hydrogen fuel cell power.
Toyota says it plans to “weave in the outdoors throughout the city” with native vegetation and hydroponics.
The city will be designed with three different types of streets: streets for faster vehicles only, those for a mix of lower speed vehicles and pedestrians, and a park-like promenade for pedestrians only.
These three types of streets will form an “organic grid pattern” to help test autonomy, according to Toyota.
A fleet of Toyota’s self-driving electric vehicles, called e-Palettes, will be used for transportation, deliveries, and “changeable mobile retail” throughout the city.
Construction of the Woven City will start in 2021, and Toyota has not yet revealed an estimated completion date or estimated cost.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.