Toyota To Build a “Woven City”

Yasushi Kurita

Yasushi is a writer and editor based in Tokyo.

Toyota To Build a “Woven City”

 

On January 7, 2020, at CES 2020, Toyota Motor Corporation released its plan to build a prototype smart city in Shizuoka Prefecture.  All the goods and services will be fully connected online at this living laboratory.  The vision is to build a prototype city where the autonomy, mobility as a service, robotics, smart home connected technology, and AI technology are integrated and tested.  Toyota expects the smart city will help expedite the development of technologies and services and the verification system, which will lead to the new values and business models.  Because the city has an elaborate network of streets, it is named a “Woven City.”

The Toyota Woven City plans to be built on a 175-acre land in Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture. Toyota’s factory on the site is scheduled to close by the end of 2020.  The construction will commence in early 2021. Toyota employees, the people who are engaged in the Woven City project, and rounghly 2,000 residents will live in the city of future during the initial phase.  The researchers, engineers, and scientists will be able to test technology as the city continues to grow.  Toyota invites the companies and researchers from around the world to join the Woven City.

This would be a truly unique opportunity to create an entire community, or ‘city’ from the ground up.  It allows us to build an infrastructure of the future that is connected digitally and sustainable,” said Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota.  He also comments, “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 world, maximizing its potential.

A swarm of different technologies are beginning to radically change how we inhabit and navigate our cities.  Connected, autonomous, emission-free and shared mobility solutions are bound to unleash a world of opportunities for new forms of urban life,” Bjarke Ingels, a Danish architect for Toyota Woven City, added to Akio’s remarks.

The main concepts of the Woven City include:

  • Three types of streets based on the usage.

 

    1. 1st type: streets for faster autonomous cars with zero emissions vehicles, such as e-Palette, only.
    2. 2nd type: urban promenade for pedestrians and slower personal mobility.
    3. 3rd type: park-like paths for pedestrians only.

 

  • Buildings are mostly made with carbon neutral wood and the roof uses photovoltaic tiles. The city is designed to promote harmony with natural environment and sustainability.

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