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Toyota Begins Building Japan’s First Smart City With Live-In Robots And Automated Cars

by : Emily Brown on :
Toyota's Woven City: a Prototype City of the FutureToyota

If there were any doubts about the fact that we’re now living in the future Toyota is here to dash them with Japan’s first smart city, complete with live-in robots and artificial intelligence. 

Together with Woven Planet Holdings, Toyota held a ground-breaking ceremony for ‘Woven City’ on Tuesday, February 23, marking the beginning of work on what will be a ‘living laboratory’.

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Located at a former Toyota factory site near Mount Fuji, the city will be powered by solar panels and electricity from fuel cells, which derive power from a hydrogen-oxygen reaction.

Check out plans for the city below:

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According to a press release from the carmaker, Woven City will work to bring new technology into a ‘real-world environment’ across areas including automated driving, personal mobility, robotics and artificial intelligence.

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The city will feature three different types of streets interwoven on the ground level; one dedicated to automated driving, one to pedestrians and one to pedestrians with personal mobility vehicles. An underground road will also be built to transport goods throughout the area.

The city’s transportation network will be dominated by Toyota’s e-Palettes; autonomous vehicles which will reportedly be used for ride-sharing, delivery services, mobile retail shops, mobile hotels and mobile workspaces.

Toyota's Woven CityToyota

The buildings in Woven City will mostly be made of wood in an effort to minimize the carbon footprint, while the homes will use sensor-based AI to check the occupants’ health, the Japan Times reports.

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Sensors throughout the city will also inform robots and autonomous cars to perform mundane tasks such as restocking the fridge and taking the bins out.

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony, Toyota President Akio Toyoda commented:

The Woven City project officially starts today. 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.

Toyota smart cityToyota
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When the city is up and running it will initially be home to roughly 360 residents, mainly senior citizens, families with young children and inventors. Over time the population is set to grow to more than 2,000, with residents including Toyota employees.

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, who designed New York’s Two World Trade Center and Google’s headquarters in California, has been commissioned to plan the layout of the city, with an infrastructure aimed at creating an environment ‘where inventions with the potential to solve social issues are created on a timely basis.’

Toyota has not said when it anticipates construction on the city to finish.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Japan, Now, robots

Credits

Woven Planet and 2 others
  1. Woven Planet

    Toyota Breaks Ground for "Woven City"

  2. Japan Times

    Toyota begins building smart city near Mount Fuji

  3. Toyota UK/YouTube

    Toyota's Woven City: a Prototype City of the Future