Toyota unveils plans to build prototype next-generation smart city


Global automotive firm Toyota Motor Corporation has announced its plan to build a sample of how a smart city of the future will be modelled.

The prototype city of the future will be located on a 175-acre site at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan.

The city will be named Woven City, will be fully connected and powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

The city will be a ‘living laboratory’ in which full-time residents and researchers will utilise to develop and test technologies including autonomy, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes and artificial intelligence.

The city will be self-sustainable, buildings will be made out of wood to reduce carbon footprint and rooftops will be covered with solar panels to back energy set to be sourced from fuel cells.

Residents who will include Toyota Motor Corporation employees and their families, retired couples, retailers, visiting scientists and industry partners, will be equipped with smart home technologies such as in-home robotics and AI solutions to help them optimise their resource management and to check occupants’ health.

Only fully-autonomous, zero-emission vehicles such as autonomous Toyota e-palettes will be used for transportation.

The plan is for 2,000 people to start, adding more as the project evolves, as from 2021.

The city will be designed by Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels, CEO of  Bjarke Ingels Group and designer of the 2 World Trade Center in New York, Lego House in Denmark and Google’s Mountain View and London headquarters.

Akio Toyoda, president, Toyota Motor Corporation, 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 city’s 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 the physical realms … maximizing its potential.

“We welcome all those inspired to improve the way we live in the future, to take advantage of this unique research ecosystem and join us in our quest to create an ever-better way of life and mobility for all.”