Toyota breaks ground at 175-acre ‘smart city’ in Japan
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
Woven City aerial view below Mount Fuji Toyota's 'Woven City' will be built in the shadow of Mount Fuji (All images copyright Toyota)

Automotive giant Toyota has begun work on building what it is calling “the city of the future” powered by robots and artificial intelligence (AI) on a 175-acre site in Japan.

The “Woven City”, which will be built at a site at the base of Mount Fuji, will house up to 2,000 staff and families from the company alongside robots.

Toyota said it will use the site as a testing ground for technologies designated for use in “urban environments”, including robotics, interconnected smart homes and artificial intelligence.

Toyota's Woven City will house robots alongside 2,000 members of staff and their families

The company’s president Akio Toyoda recently broke ground at the site alongside officials of Shizuoka Prefecture, the district which will be home to ‘Woven City’, around 60 miles outside of Tokyo.

“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,” said Toyoda in a statement.

“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."

According to the company’s plans, residents of ‘Woven City’ will live in “smart homes” with a range of integrated robotics systems, including sensor-based artificial intelligence to monitor health.

Toyota has also said that it expects its self-driving vehicle, the e-Palette, to make up the bulk of Woven City’s transport infrastructure.

The city will have four types of roads: one thoroughfare for pedestrians, one for pedestrians using personal mobility vehicles, one for self-driving vehicles, and one conventional road, running underneath the city to provide goods transportation.

While according to the company, the project is still “some way” from completion, Toyota has said it hopes the project will “serve as a model for cities of the future”.

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