July 14, 2024

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Innovation in Every Curve

Toyota to Welcome First Residents of Its Futuristic ‘Woven City’ That Features AI Technology, Autonomous Vehicles, Robots

Toyota’s ambitious “Woven City,” a cutting-edge “smart city” project near Mount Fuji, Japan, is poised to welcome its first residents soon. 

This innovative urban space, announced nearly four years ago, is designed as a “living laboratory” to test and refine new technologies, including hydrogen power, autonomous vehicles, robots, and artificial intelligence (AI). 

Screenshot from Toyota Woven City Website
Screenshot from Toyota Woven City Website
(Photo : Toyota Woven City Official Website)

Transformation of Toyota’s ‘Woven City’ in Japan

Estimated with a total cost of $10.13 billion, “Woven City” is nearing completion. According to Toyota, the initial group of residents is expected to move in by the end of this year.

This early occupancy will enable experts to collect valuable data on the city’s mobility patterns and other technological interactions, paving the way for further advancements.

Interesting Engineering reported that residents will live in eco-friendly smart homes made mostly of wood, powered by hydrogen, and featuring solar panels for energy. Toyota President Akio Toyoda highlighted the project’s significance, describing it as a rare chance to pioneer future technologies from scratch.

The “Woven City” project is structured into three zones: pedestrian-only spaces, roads for autonomous vehicles, and lanes for active transportation like bicycles. Toyota collaborated with the global architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to realize its vision.

BIG has been the creative force behind notable projects such as VIA 57 West in New York, LEGO House in Denmark, and VM Houses in Copenhagen. Covering 7,620,849 square feet, “Woven City” is located on the former site of Toyota’s Higashi-Fuji Plant, which ceased operations four years ago.

Vision, Objectives of ‘Woven City’ of Toyota

According to Toyota, “Woven City” will be a hub for co-creation among inventors and residents who share a passion for pioneering innovations for others. The company aims to transition from solely being an automotive manufacturer to a “mobility” company. 

This shift involves redefining mobility beyond mere transportation in vehicles from point A to point B. It also enriches lives by providing efficient, practical, and enjoyable mobility solutions for people, goods, information, and energy.

“Woven City” is designed to include roads, plazas, shops, offices, and homes, mirroring a real urban environment where inventors and residents can collaboratively develop new ideas, products, and services.

Toyota underscored that Woven City’s robust support systems are designed to accelerate advancements in technology and services. It emphasized that the extensive support provided by Woven City will expedite progress in technology and service innovations aimed at redefining the future of mobility and enhancing well-being for all.

Following the impact of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan’s Tohoku region, Toyota’s Higashi-Fuji Plant ceased operations. In 2020, Toyota announced its plans to transform the closed site into Woven City, with construction commencing the following year.

According to the proposed plans, researchers and businesses from around the globe will have opportunities to collaborate on projects focusing on personal mobility, autonomous technology, artificial intelligence, and robotics.

The city is named in honor of Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota, who invented an automatic loom to simplify the weaving process for his mother. This invention laid the groundwork for the industry giant established by his son and continues to inspire innovation today.

Related Article: Smart Cities: Integration of Technologies for Creating Safe and Efficient Urban Spaces

Written by Inno Flores

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