Toyota kickstarts city of the future at Japanese R&D site

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Japanese-multinational automaker and technology firm Toyota Motor Corporation, in partnership with subsidiary Woven Planet, has started the construction of its prototype city of the future in Japan.

The prototype city of the future, in which all ecosystems will be connected, is being developed at Toyota’s Higashi-Fuji Technical Center, a research and development facility in Susono, Shizuoka.

The aim of the pilot is to prepare for an era in which all ecosystems that support everyday life are connected with data. Toyota aims to continuously create advancements that will help better society by accelerating the cycle of technology and development of services.

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In Toyota’s shift from an automobile manufacturer to a mobility company, the project will bring new technology to life in a real-world environment across a wide range of areas including automated driving, personal mobility, robotics, and artificial intelligence.

The city will have three types of streets interwoven with each other on the ground level, one dedicated to automated driving, one to pedestrians, and one to pedestrians with personal mobility vehicles.

An additional underground road will be developed to transport goods.

The pilot will include 360 residents, mainly senior citizens, families with young children, and inventors and will eventually have a population of more than 2,000 individuals including Toyota employees.

Toyota president Akio Toyoda, said: “Taking action as one has decided is never an easy task. I must express my deepest gratitude to all who have provided their whole-hearted support and cooperation to the project through today. The unwavering themes of the Woven City are ‘human-centered, ‘a living laboratory’ and ‘ever-evolving.’ Together with the support of our project partners, we will take on the challenge of creating a future where people of diverse backgrounds are able to live happily.”