Toyota to build ‘city of the future’ for testing robot-based life
Published: 12:20 PM, 15 January 2020 Updated: 08:17 PM, 16 January 2020
Toyota has unveiled plans for a “city of the future” for testing self-propelled vehicles and living with the help of smart technology and robots with the accommodation of two thousand people. Where they will test. The ambitious project, called Woven City, will begin next year at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan, 60 miles from Tokyo.
Buildings and vehicles used by the public there will be connected through data and sensors, and will be able to test artificial intelligence technology, both virtual and physical, as they interact with each other.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Toyota President Akio Toyoda described the new city as a “living laboratory” when announcing the project. It will allow researchers, scientists, and engineers to test emerging technologies in a realistic environment.
“We are maximizing its potential. We want to convert artificial intelligence to expanded intelligence,” Akio Toyoda said.
The new development will be set up on a 175-acres site with a former Toyota factory. Describing the city as fully sustainable, the company says the project will be led by hydrogen fuel cells and solar panels on the roof. Only fully self-propelled and zero-emission cars will be allowed to operate on its roads. Self-propelled vehicles, known as Toyota e-Palette, will be used for supply and retail purposes.
Woven City is expected to accommodate about 2,000 people. Toyota said the firm’s employees and their families would first be residents of the city. In addition, retirees, retailers, researchers, and others will be part of the project.
The project created a master plan in collaboration with Japanese car maker and Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). The buildings on the site will be primarily made of wood and partly constructed using robotic technology. But the designs will follow Japan’s past as inspiration.
Woven city’s homes will serve as a new technology ‘home-robotics’ testing site. These smart homes will automatically operate using sensor-based artificial intelligence, such as closing the refrigerator or removing dirt. Even people will be taken care of considering health conditions. The facilities for electricity conservation and water filtration will be hidden beneath the ground.
In an era where technology, social media and online are replacing and removing our natural meeting places, both cities will explore ways to stimulate human interaction in urban areas. BIG says it will start in 2021. The first phase of the project will have more than a dozen integrated structures for construction. However, no estimated date has been mentioned for the completion.